More than 2,800 delegates from 119 countries, along with nearly 3,000 other participants, concluded their discussions Thursday as government officials and energy experts discussed ways their countries could develop renewable energy, promote sustainable development, and reduce greenhouse emissions. Countries, sub-national authorities, private-sector and non-government organizations made more than 100 pledges of concrete ways to meet enhanced energy goals.
President George W. Bush toured the display hall at the conference Wednesday, where seven Volvo Group trucks (six Volvo and one Mack), each capable of operating on different renewable fuels, were presented.
"Each of the trucks seen by President Bush can be driven without any net contribution of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere," said Volvo Group CEO Leif Johansson.
The display also included a Mack hybrid electric vehicle, which will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force under a cooperative research and development agreement. Four Mack HEV trucks are currently being tested by the U.S. Air Force.
During his address to conference participants, President Bush noted, "Expanding use in ethanol and biodiesel requires getting more cars on the road that use these alternative fuels. We expect the private sector to respond."
Also at the conference was U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, who noted that in addition to environmental concerns, "because each megawatt of renewable energy brought online not only reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, it reduces the price volatility of those conventional fuels as well."
Over the past year, Samuel said, the Energy Department has announced over $1 billion of investments to spur the growth of a robust, sustainable biofuels industry, and in particular to tap the great potential of cellulosic biofuels derived from waste streams rather than edible fuel sources. The Environmental Protection Agency says it will work to increase the amount of renewable fuels used in the U.S. to 36 billion gallons by 2022.