Top Leaders on Climate and Energy Policy Issue Calls-to-Action in San Francisco: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein gives Keynote Address
San Francisco, CA – Top energy and climate policy leaders gathered in Ocotber 2007 to urge the federal government to make immediate, positive steps on climate change. Occurring as California legislators await an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision on whether to allow the state to move forward with its own auto emissions standards, and as murmurings from Capitol Hill about climate change legislation gather steam, the first annual conference of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) brought together a diverse group of advocates for action on climate change.
In opening keynote remarks, Michael Peevey, President of the California Public Utilities Commission, set the stage for the event with candid comments about the way forward. “California’s regulators and policy makers are committed to taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming,” said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. “California is a leader for the nation and the world in establishing ground-breaking policies that protect the environment and also provide economic benefits.”
Peevey was joined by other participants including U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), an outspoken advocate for a federal climate framework, and representatives from the Western Governors Association, California’s Congressional Delegation, the United Nations, EPA, the U.S. Department of State, and leading businesses that are actively engaged in state, regional, federal and international climate and energy policymaking. Attendees focused specifically on how California’s rules, and other developing policy activities at state, federal and international levels, will affect markets, a key point of contention between supporters and critics of policy movement on climate change.
Senator Feinstein gave the keynote and voiced her support of California’s energy policy goals. “The urgency is clear: we must break our addiction to fossil fuels. We must make a major shift towards renewable energy and clean technology. And we must act soon,” Senator Feinstein said. “I believe we’re standing at the threshold of great opportunity for American innovation and ingenuity. And I have no doubt that we’re up to the challenge.”
Others echoed the sentiment during breakout sessions covering all of the major areas of climate change and energy policy, including policy implementation, Western state leadership on policy, the federal role in climate change policy, and international efforts on curbing global warming.
“BCSE is thrilled that so many leaders on climate change, particularly in California, joined us for this important conference,” said Lisa Jacobson, Executive Director of BCSE. “We hope that the momentum we’ve created here for an integrated, nation-wide effort to deploy existing renewable energy technologies in the broader market translates into concrete action at all levels.”
Conference sponsors included BCSE members Sempra Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric, Solar Turbines, First Environment, Inc., Brookfield Power, INGAA, Econergy, and EcoSecurities. Supporting organizations included the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Environmental Markets Association, NRDC, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Union of Concerned Scientists, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and media partners include Environmental Finance and Point Carbon.
The Council plans to have a second annual conference in early October 2008 in Chicago. Please contact the Council for more details.