A public/private partnership to the moon

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The technologies are available, the savings obvious, yet consumers are slow in adopting energy efficient products. Speaking at the Bali Global Business day on the margins of the UN Climate Change conference, a Philips official wondered why two thirds of the world still uses old lighting technologies when switching to existing modern technology would represent a 40% saving in total lighting energy consumption.

The private sector is asking for a public/private partnership where governments implement stronger energy efficiency standards, including labeling, adopt greener public procurement requirements, and grant financial incentives.

In developing countries, investors' appetite for clean technology investment is also growing but private companies are facing additional obstacles: the risk perception, the lack of market research, the need to adapt technologies to the requirements of these markets. Again, a public/private partnership makes sense.

GEF and IFC launched today the Earth Fund which aims to give those businesses keen to invest in environmental technologies in developing countries that extra support they need to take the leap. The most exciting feature of the fund: a prize! The very same company that stimulated with a prize the launch of the first private rocketship in outer space, will manage the Earth Fund's prizes for innovative environmental technology.

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