Watch events live from the U.S. Center in Copenhagen. Follow the U.S. Center on YouTube and Flickr.About the Author: Billie Gross serves as Public Affairs Specialist for the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. She is currently on assignment at the U.S. Center in Copenhagen.
The U.S. Center's keynote event featuring Secretary of Energy Steven Chu drew a large crowd today and generated a lot of excitement as people lined up and even "camped" in front of the U.S. Center waiting for seats. Secretary Chu’s presentation discussed how – from production, to transmission, to efficiency – President Obama’s Administration is paving the way for a new American energy future while taking the steps now to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. Secretary Chu highlighted how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invested $4.5 billion in funding to develop and deploy a smart grid, which will lower peak demand by 20% and save Americans billions of dollars on their energy bills. The Recovery Act also provided the funding needed to put America on a path to double renewable energy generation in the next three years.
Today, Secretary Chu announced the launch of a new initiative to promote clean energy technologies in developing countries: the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI). This new program will offer $350M over five years and is designed to accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in developing countries – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fighting energy poverty and improving public health for the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.
Four main components of the plan include health and economic benefits by cutting the use of guttering kerosene lamps; a program to enhance labeling and standards for high-efficiency appliances; a Web-based exchange to coordinate the deployment of clean energy technologies by major economies; and support for the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund to boost and held finance national renewable energy projects.
Secretary Chu also announced that he will host the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial to be held in Washington, D.C. in mid-2010. The purpose of this event will be to continue concrete action on global clean energy technology deployment. Secretary Chu’s presentation underscored not only the strong actions the U.S. is taking at home, but the leadership role the U.S. is pursuing internationally to combat global climate change.