BIREC 2005

From 7-8 November 2005, the Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference 2005 was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The conference called on the world to consider renewable alternatives in the era of high oil prices. The political commitment to encourage the use of fossil fuel alternatives was strengthened by the messages from the Chinese President and the General Secretary of the UN to the 1,200 representatives from more than 80 countries and regions.

It is highly significant that the conference was organised by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and that the invitation was extended by the Chinese government: A developing country had taken the torch in showing the way how to considerably increase the contribution of renewable energies to a country’s development.

The conference had political and technical elements, and its participants included officials from government and multilateral organisations, business, finance, industry as well as other non-government-organisations.

On the basis of an assessment of the current status and future trends in renewable energy development, provided by REN21 (through its Renewables Global Status Report) and others, official delegations discussed practical measures, success stories, and effective legislative and policy measures to create institutional and technical infrastructures and make market forces work effectively. In the open sessions, participants discussed the establishment of a review process to assess the progress made towards the implementation of JPOI of WSSD and the IAP of the renewable 2004 Conference in Bonn, in order to increase the contribution of renewable energy to total energy supply. This led to a debate on international cooperation for the increase of renewable energy use, particularly in developing countries, and on how the international community, the UN system, financing institutions, and bilateral and multilateral donors may better assist developing countries in their efforts to remove barriers and strengthen national capacities. Following the Bonn conference, this conference, too, was highly successful. Political results are documented in the Beijing Declaration, which was adopted by the officials.