Dr. Paula Dobriansky is U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. She says the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, or APP, represents “exactly that kind of creativity and pragmatism we need in the fight against climate change.” Speaking at a breakfast briefing of the APP, Dr. Dobrianksy noted, “In the relatively brief period since it was conceived, the APP has established a track record of meeting and exceeding, the expectations we had in 2005.”
In July 2005, U.S. President George Bush announced that the United States would join with Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea to form the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Canada joined the Partnership in October 2007.
The partnership is an effort to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies through a voluntary public-private partnership among these nations. The Partner nations have agreed to work together and with their respective private sectors on energy security, national air pollution reduction, and climate change in ways that promote sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Together, Partner countries account for more than half of the world’s population, economy, and energy use.
The Asia-Pacific Partnership pursues its goals through eight sector-based task forces, and as a whole, has endorsed over one-hundred-twenty projects across the eight task forces. To date, the United States has committed seventy million dollars to support APP projects. The U.S. APP Program Office at the State Department will request an additional fifty-two million dollars in funding for fiscal year 2009.
Under Secretary Dobriansky said “the APP’s projects inspire the imagination. For example, the APP is partnering the state of California with the Indian state of Maharashtra to help the latter alleviate its five-thousand megawatt energy shortfall. Two U.S. businesses – American Electric Power and the Southern Company – have been working with Chinese electricity producers to move them closer to U.S. levels of efficiency and lower rates of pollution.”
Through the Asia-Pacific Partnership, said Dr. Dobriansky, “policy makers and implementers craft realistic workable solutions aimed at translating Partners’ political commitment into concrete results.”