One of a series of meeting reports, this paper attempts to refine the concept of how leaders play an instrumental role in addressing pressing global issues. The purpose of the meeting covered by this paper was to provide input to the hosts of the 2008 G8 Summit from policy researchers working on potential initiatives to break the climate change deadlock. This meeting emphasised the need for unprecedented multilateral cooperation to address climate change and the energy debate and highlighted the value of bringing together leaders of both G8 nations and key emerging economies to determine the most promising way forward. Governance innovations are needed that would both catalyse effective action and advance developing countries' prospects. It is evident that no forum currently exits to adequately deal with the scope and complexities of climate change. Participants reviewed the mechanisms required for expediting technology development and transfer, several opinions emerged, as follows:
a "smart" carbon tax was suggested introduced at a low level, with overall revenue neutrality and small predictable annual increments
there are promising ideas on research cooperation and technology transfer - the precedents of the International Programme on Hydrogen and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, to create a new science and technology network of practitioners working on low carbon options, represent promising developments that should be built upon
initiatives such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (which teamed up with IBM, Nokia, Sony, and Pitney-Bowes) "Eco-Patent Commons" programme should be promoted and expanded.