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A Meeting of International Minds: The Clean Energy Ministerial Begins Today

April 25, 2012 - 9:46am


Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu in London for the Clean Energy Ministerial. | Photo courtesy Sustainable Energy for All.

Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu in London for the Clean Energy Ministerial. | Photo courtesy Sustainable Energy for All.

Today in London, leading energy-decision makers are gathering for the Clean Energy Ministerial annual meeting. This initiative, now in its third year, brings together energy ministers from 23 governments – including Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu – to speed the advancement of clean energy technologies at a global scale.

The cornerstone of the Ministerial is 11 action-driven initiatives that span the entire clean energy spectrum – from appliance efficiency to smart grids to renewable energy. Each initiative helps to further policies and programs that save consumers money, promote economic growth, strengthen energy security and expand access to energy.

The governments that make up the Ministerial collectively account for 90 percent of global clean energy investment. They are the world’s leading installers of wind turbines and solar photovoltaics as well as the primary markets for emerging options such as carbon capture and storage. By working together, along with their private-sector stakeholders, this group of energy decision-makers leverage their respective strengths and resources to more effectively overcome barriers to widespread adoption of clean energy technologies.

Participants at this year’s event will not only discuss current achievements but also devise new strategies – reinforcing commitments to improve their collective work.

Among the many initiatives to be discussed is the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliances Deployment initiative – which helps governments develop cost-effective appliance efficiency programs. Since the launch of this initiative in 2010, participating governments have implemented, issued, or begun developing nearly 200 appliance efficiency standards, which could reduce electricity demand by about 600 terawatt hours – the equivalent of the output of roughly 200 mid-size coal power plants.

In addition, special focus will be paid to crosscutting efforts, like the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative – led by the Energy Department in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Through its policies and forums, this program recognizes and brings together individuals who work to advance women’s leadership in the clean energy space.

Over the course of the next few days, we will update you on highlights from the annual meeting and share details on new commitments to ensure the Clean Energy Ministerial’s continued progress. In the meantime, check out the Clean Energy Ministerial website for more information and on Twitter, follow the hashtag #CEM3 for regular updates.