World’s Top Energy Officials Meet to Discuss Shift to Clean Energy

By Rob Sargent
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy

We know we can have healthier communities right now and a livable future for kids growing up today. But to get there, we must transform the way we produce and consume energy. That’s got to start with a commitment to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

Last week, we got another step closer to 100% renewable energy when energy officials from around the world gathered to discuss greater collaboration on clean energy. The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), comprised of top level officials from 21 countries representing 75% of the carbon emissions, discussed targets for clean energy deployments and partnerships, including greater information sharing.

Clean energy “is becoming inevitable,” according the U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, who represented the U.S. at the meeting, noting that CEM  “can play an important role in deploying clean energy technologies today and developing tomorrow’s solutions that will facilitate the world’s transition to a clean energy economy”

Through the work of countries and non-profits at CEM, high-profile businesses have also joined the initiative with pledges to use their buying clout to increase the use of renewable energy.  Many of the participating companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook already plan to go 100 percent renewable. The lengthy list of pledges from a wide range of groups shows the feasibility of major transitions toward renewable energy. 

Photo credit: IISD/ENB/Franz Dejon

The US joined a number of partnerships and campaigns with other nations and multinational corporations alike. Partnerships announced at the CEM meeting include: Advanced Cooling, Energy Management, and Corporate Sourcing of Renewables campaigns. As part of the Corporate Sourcing of Renewables campaign, major industrial manufacturers such as Honeywell agreed to invest in switching to lower carbon output in production, while four other nations joined the US in committing to reduce the environmental impact of cooling technology by encouraging energy efficiency.

To further reinforce the US commitment to clean energy and the role that can be played by homeowners, businesses and other institutions, the US Department of Energy unveiled a report identifying federal programs that can help finance the upfront cost of investments to access pollution-free renewable energy. Because renewable energy has no fuel costs, virtually all of the costs of renewable energy are the initial capital investments.

We still have a long way to go to get to 100% renewable energy, but the commitments such as those made by the member nations and associated organizations at CEM bring the world ever-closer to 100 percent renewable energy.