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Renewable energy focus of Abu Dhabi visit

Energy Minister Moritz Leuenberger has called for an "energy revolution", in an address at the World Future Energy Summit 2009 in Abu Dhabi.

Leuenberger said the International Energy Agency had shown that investing in renewable energy sources only costs about half a per cent of the gross global product.

He added that it was up to all states to contribute towards a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions – the main cause of global warming, and industrialised nations must support other countries with "know-how and money".

Leuenberger used the meeting in the Gulf state to restate Switzerland's proposal for a global CO2 tax. The proceeds would go to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.

"This proposal is based on the principles of 'user pays' and 'solidarity'," he said.

On Sunday, Leuenberger visited the site in Abu Dhabi where the world's first carbon free city, Masdar, is planned.

The Swiss energy minister also signed a memorandum of understanding with United Arab Emirates officials to cooperate in the further development of energy technologies.

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