This November, IIEC celebrated its first 30 years by welcoming energy and climate change experts from around the world to gather in Washington, DC and discuss the major challenges and solutions facing the global energy landscape. The Symposium featured keynote speeches by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and the executive director of the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), Benoit Lebot. Two panels led animated conversations about what approaches are working best in the climate and energy arena, and how to extend results to the people and places that need them most.
Left to Right: Rob Pratt (GreenerU, IIEC), Felix Gooneratne (IIEC), Senator Ed Markey (of Massachusetts),
Laura Van Wie McGrory (IIEC), Kateri Callahan (the Alliance to Save Energy),
Reid Detchon (United Nations Foundation), Ivan Jaques (ESMAP/World Bank), David Rosenheim (the Climate Registry)
The evening’s discussions focused on the interrelation of energy, climate, and sustainable economic development, highlighting the importance of crosscutting solutions to help drive economies, secure resource access, and ensure that growth follows a clean and efficient path. Noting that a variety of clean energy models are emerging around the world, speakers highlighted the need for two central developments in the coming years – namely that projects be implemented on a large scale, and that they be based on economically sustainable models in order to become integrated into regional markets. Experts on both panels – “Emerging Issues in Energy Efficiency and Climate Change” and “Perspectives form IIEC’s Leaders” – acknowledged some of the major challenges attached to shifting human behavior and generating infrastructural change in developing countries, but balanced these comments by providing an overview of the tremendous economic and social opportunities associated with solving these challenges. Senator Markey closed his speech on an optimistic note, reminding a room full of technical experts and policymakers of the scope of human ingenuity.
“When someone tells you that we can’t ensure energy security through efficiency, you remind them that yesterday, a rocket landed on a meteor”!
Left to Right: Benoit Lebot (IPEEC), Matthew Mendis (Nexant), Deborah Bleviss (Johns Hopkins University, SAIS), Russell Sturm (International Finance Corporation), Terry Oliver (Bonneville Power Administration), Felix Gooneratne (IIEC).