MERIDA, MEXICO ― U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz launched several new initiatives with other global energy leaders at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) and the sixth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM6) this week in Merida, Mexico.
These initiatives will further strengthen momentum in the Western Hemisphere and around the globe to combat climate change and accelerate clean energy technology and policies ahead of the December 2015 climate talks in Paris. At both ECPA and CEM6, energy ministers discussed technology solutions to grow low-carbon economies while helping to implement national commitments to reduce climate pollution.
“ECPA and CEM6 were two vital opportunities for some of the world’s most important clean energy leaders to come together to cooperate on clean energy solutions ahead of climate negotiations in Paris this December,” said Secretary Moniz. “The outcome of these two meetings will play an important role in facilitating the world’s transition to a clean energy economy through regional and global cooperation.”
Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) May 25-26
At ECPA, Secretary Moniz met with energy ministers from across the Western Hemisphere to discuss areas of cooperation in the region. The ministerial established two new initiatives―the North American Energy Ministers Working Group on Climate and Energy with Canada and Mexico, and the ECPA Western Hemisphere Clean Energy Initiative with governments from around the region.
The new trilateral Working Group enhances a North American Energy Ministers’ dialogue that was inaugurated last December and supports the implementation of clean energy and climate change goals for each of the three countries. Areas of cooperation include reliable, resilient, and low-carbon electricity grids; modeling and deployment of clean energy technologies; energy efficiency for equipment, appliances, industries, and buildings; carbon capture, use, and storage; climate change adaptation and resilience; and emissions reduction from the oil and gas sector.
Together with a series of hemispheric partners, Secretary Moniz also announced the ECPA Western Hemisphere Clean Energy Initiative, under which countries announced that they intend to work toward a collective doubling of renewable sources such as solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, sustainable biomass, and geothermal, by 2030.
Sixth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM6)May 27-28
At CEM6, Secretary Moniz and fellow ministers announced new efforts to increase the ambition and productivity of CEM―or “CEM 2.0.” They created a year-round steering committee made up of China, Denmark, the European Commission, France, India, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States to guide the strategy for CEM.
CEM counties also announced three new global challenges that address key technology and policy issues around the world:
Under the CEM Global Lighting Challenge, Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United States, and the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission will establish a global race to reach cumulative sales of 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality and affordable advanced lighting products as quickly as possible. With lighting accounting for 15 percent of global electricity usage, replacing the world’s existing lighting with these products could save over $100 billion in electricity costs alone and lower annual CO2 emissions by 534 million metric tons.
Under the CEM Power System Challenge, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission endorsed a set of principles to help guide their country’s efforts toward the clean, reliable, resilient and affordable power systems of the future. Endorsing countries agreed to take actions in support of establishing national roadmaps and strategies to increase energy efficiency while also taking advantage of smart grid technologies and renewable resources such as wind and solar power.
The United States also announced efforts to dramatically scale-up the Clean Energy Solutions Center, a CEM initiative that has already provided real-time, no-cost clean energy expert policy assistance to more than 80 countries around the world. The scale-up initiative includes increasing the amount of global experts to help respond to significantly more requests for assistance as well as establishing a new section on Clean Energy Finance. The Solutions Center also announced a partnership with the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the technology mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
At the conclusion of CEM6, President Barack Obama announced in a video message that the United States will host CEM7 in 2016, and Minister Wan Gang announced China’s intent to host CEM8 in 2017.