From 1 to 4 June 2004, Germany hosted the International Conference for Renewable Energies Bonn 2004, as announced by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2002 in Johannesburg.
In Paragraph 9 of their Political Declaration, the participants agreed to work within a ‘global policy network’ together with representatives from parliaments, local and regional authorities, academia, the private sector, international institutions, international industry associations, consumers, civil society, women’s groups, and relevant partnerships worldwide. This informal network should take into account the work already being undertaken by existing partnerships and should promote a comprehensive and open exchange of diverse perspectives, lessons, and experiences in the development and application of renewable energies”.
Thus, the formation of REN21 as a global policy network is one important outcome of this first international conference on the subject of renewable energies.
Renewables 2004 charted the way towards an expansion of renewable energies worldwide, responding to the call of the Johannesburg summit for the global development of renewable energy. It also kept up the momentum generated by the coalition of like-minded countries for promotion of renewable energies (known as the Johannesburg Renewable Energy Coalition, JREC).
Renewables 2004 addressed these central issues: How can the proportion of renewable energies used in industrialised and developing countries be substantially increased, and how can their advantages and potential be better used?
The conference concentrated in particular on the following themes:
- Formation of enabling political framework conditions allowing the market development of renewable energies;
- Increase in private and public financing in order to secure reliable demand for renewable energies;
- Human and institutional capacity building, and coordination and intensification of research and development.
Among the 3,600 participants were official governmental delegations including energy, environmental and development ministers, representatives of the United Nations and other international and non-governmental organisations, civil society and the private sector. Conference convener was the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).