First Meeting of the Leaders' Representatives

27-28 April 2009 – Washington, DC, USA

Chair's Summary: First Meeting of the Leaders' Representatives of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate

The first preparatory meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate met April 27-28, 2009, in Washington, DC, attended by Leaders’ representatives and other officials from seventeen major economies, as well as the United Nations and Denmark. Participants welcomed President Obama’s initiative in convening the Major Economies Forum. Discussion was open and candid. Participants agreed that the Forum is not an alternative to the UN Framework Convention process, but could inform and complement and make a major contribution to success in the UN negotiations in Copenhagen, as well as implementation of the Bali Roadmap.

Participants shared the view that climate change is a clear and present danger to our world that demands immediate attention from all countries, and that the Major Economies Leaders Meeting in July should send a strong political signal to add momentum to the Copenhagen process and to collective efforts to achieve a low-carbon future. It was noted that all major economies are already taking actions in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Participants expressed the need to ensure that developed countries’ actions are clear and robust, and the view was also expressed that all major economies must take actions, consistent with the science, which support energy security and sustainable development. Participants also highlighted the importance that international cooperation can play in facilitating global technology innovation, commercialization, and deployment.

There was wide support for considering how best the Major Economies Forum can contribute to a successful outcome at the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December. The meeting included active exchanges on this topic, and participants agreed to continue discussions on mitigation, finance, adaptation and related issues at their next meeting, including exploring shared assumptions. The discussions underscored the need for near term ambitious actions for all, as well as pathways, and the development of mid-term goals for developed countries.

Participants commented on the potential for the Major Economies Forum to support the development of transformational technologies critical to mitigating climate change globally. Many in the group noted that the forum could provide valuable support and impetus at a political level for the development of critical technologies and supported exploring cooperation on innovation and policies to enable deployment of technologies, including carbon capture and storage, clean coal, buildings, energy efficiency, solar energy and biofuels, among others. The role of legal and regulatory systems in facilitating enabling environments was also raised. Delegations were invited to submit concrete proposals for cooperation to facilitate discussions at the next preparatory meeting.

There was wide support for two further preparatory meetings to create a foundation for the Leaders to meet in Italy in July. Delegations welcomed France’s offer to host the next preparatory meeting in May. The Leaders’ representatives of the Major Economies Forum agreed that their next meeting would focus on the Copenhagen process, including mitigation, adaptation and finance, as well as on issues regarding development of transformational technologies and the deployment and transfer of technology.

First Meeting of the Leaders' Representatives of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate