Brazil, South Africa, India and China - known as the ‘Basic' country bloc - required more detailed policy measures to give investors confidence in terms of energy efficiency and clean energy, research by the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) has shown.
The research, which was done as part of REEEP's Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), was aimed at identifying corporate best practices in promoting energy efficiency measures and the use and development of renewable energy in the Basic countries.
"Tackling climate change will require massive private sector capital flows into energy efficiency and renewable energy, so it is very important to understand what government policies are most effective in enabling this to happen," REEEP DG Marianne Osterkorn said.
The researchers noted that all four these countries had framework legislation that set out principles and aspirations for greater energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.
"Yet, more detailed policy measures are also needed in order to give investors confidence and the extent to which these are successful can vary widely between different countries and between different socio-economic contexts," REEEP stated.
It added that corporations in these countries seemed to have constructive ideas on how regulatory actions and policy could assist in changing behaviour and encouraging investment in their country.
The research also highlighted that while the impact of policy on investment decisions could vary depending on national circumstances, companies consistently stated that their own internal policies were crucial to investment decisions.
"This may suggest that companies from the large emerging economies are operating in a global marketplace where their operating environment is shaped not only by government requirements, but also by the expectations of customers and competitors," the researchers noted.
Climate Change Capital executive director and vice chairperson James Cameron commented that the findings of the research showed that private sector investment flows in these countries were being directed towards clean energy and that the effect of policy and regulation on corporate behaviour was largely positive.
"In a world where energy demand is rising and there is an absolute imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, given the right policy frameworks and the capacity to take science and engineering skills and attach them to huge domestic as well as global markets, there is every chance that the technological breakthrough that the world requires will emerge from these so-called developing countries," he added.