30 Sept, 2006---The Finnish EU Presidency has invited all the EU member states, and the Latin American and Caribbean states to participate in a forum focusing on renewable sources of energy in Panama on 9-11 October. The conference is part of the Partnership Initiative announced by Finland, together with seven Central American countries, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. The Partnership Initiative aims at more and more extensive adoption of renewable sources of energy.
The themes of the Panama forum are common to both the EU and Latin America. The conference will discuss, for instance, biofuels, wind power, and emissions trading. Finnish companies involved in renewable energies participating in the forum include, for instance, ABB, Pöyry Energy and WinWind.
From the very beginning, the purpose of the Partnership Initiative was to get companies, universities, research institutions, and other private sector actors involved in the cooperation. So far, 64 partners from Finland and Central America have joined the Initiative. The forms of operation chosen for the Initiative were separate projects and different regional forums on renewable energy themes, and the conference in Panama is the eighth of its kind.
Originally, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs allocated three million euros for the financing of the Initiative for three years. Now a decision has been made to continue the financing till 2009, and raise the total granted for the Initiative to four million euros.