BY: PROFESSOR TANJA SREBOTNJAK, DIRECTOR OF THE HIXON CENTER
Recently, and almost quietly, the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) took place in San Francisco. The CEM was launched in 2010 as a forum of the world’s major economies, leading clean energy investors and innovative public and private organizations to work together to accelerate the global transition toward clean energy and sustainable development.
CEM7 followed up the Paris Agreement that was devised at this past December’s Climate Conference. The 23 CEM members, who are responsible for 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of clean energy investments, were hosted by U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. They agreed to launch a number of new initiatives and collaborations, including clean energy deployment to under-electrified communities in developing countries, a New Cooling Challenge to advance clean cooling technology, corporate sources of renewable energy and a public-private cooperation to advance the implementation of ISO 50001 (the global energy management standard).
High-level speakers included Governor Jerry Brown, former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and Tom Steyer, the investor and founder of NextGen Climate (an SF-based environmental advocacy organization).
Often, the most important negotiations and agreements are forged behind closed doors. CEM7 certainly had the potential to support President Obama’s new climate rules by solidifying international and corporate support of the Paris Agreement through its focus on innovation in technology and finance.
More information on the CEM is available at www.cleanenergyministerial.org.