Ministers from 24 nations participated this week in the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial. The countries participating in the Ministerial account for more than 80 percent of global energy consumption and a similar percentage of the market for clean energy technologies.
Held in Washington, D.C. July 19th and 20th, the Ministerial launched 11 new initiatives to accelerate the global transition to clean energy. The initiatives will forestall the need to build more than 500 mid-sized power plants in the next 20 years, promote the rapid deployment of electric vehicles, support the growing global market for renewable energy and carbon capture technologies, bring solar lanterns or other improved energy services to more than 10 million people without access to grid electricity by 2015, and help encourage women to pursue careers in clean energy.
"These steps will promote economic growth, create jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who hosted the summit. "What we've seen here is that working together; we can accomplish more, faster, than working alone."
Governments participating in the Ministerial launched 5 initiatives as part of a Global Energy Efficiency Challenge to help cut energy waste around the world. These programs will help bring super-efficient consumer appliances to growing global markets, help large buildings and industrial facilities reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, accelerate the development and deployment of smart energy efficient electricity grids, help participating countries in efforts to put at least 20 million electric cars on the roads by 2020; and help developing countries utilize transformational low-carbon, clean technologies.
The Ministerial participants also launched 4 initiatives designed to accelerate the development of low-carbon energy sources around the world, including carbon capture, use and storage technologies, solar and wind, hydropower, and bioenergy technologies.
"Last year, global investment in clean energy reached $145 billion, and that number will grow in the years ahead," U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke told the ministers. "With the right vision and the right commitment, we can build a clean energy economy that provides good jobs and sets the world up for decades of sustainable economic growth."
The United States is committed to a future powered by clean and sustainable energy.