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Senior Politicians Meet in Silicon Valley For “Clean Energy Revolution”

The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco Credit: Radoslaw Lecyk / Shutterstock
The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco Credit: Radoslaw Lecyk / Shutterstock

Energy ministers from countries including China, India the United States and the European Union are meeting in San Francisco this week to discuss how to “accelerate the clean energy revolution.”

Energy ministers and other high-level delegates from more than 20 countries and the European Union will discuss “tangible follow-up actions to [the Paris climate summit] COP21,” according to a statement.

“Innovation is a global mission. Looking forward to discussing it with our US partners,” tweeted EU Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič, who will be representing the EU along with research commissioner Carlos Moedas.

The meeting, known as the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) takes place for the seventh time this year (1 and 2 June) and was originally launched at the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

A separate meeting of subnational politicians hosted by governor Jerry Brown of California is set to increase the pressure on national leaders. Minister-level representatives from states, regions, provinces, and cities around the world will meet as part of the independent Subnational-Clean Energy Ministerial (Sub-CEM) meeting.

Mission Innovation

While in California, the European Union is expected to announce that it has joined the global Mission Innovation initiative which aims to “accelerate the clean energy revolution,” according to an EU statement.

The initiative was fist launched at the UN climate summit in Paris by 20 countries committed to double their clean energy research and development by 2020. The initiative’s members partially overlap with the Clean Energy Ministerial, and will meet for the first time this week to talk about progress, also in San Francisco.

Silicon Valley

The San Francisco Bay Area – the southern part of which is known as “Silicon Valley” – is a hotbed of innovation and venture capital financing. It won’t just be politicians travelling to California this week, the city’s Union Square will host a technology exhibition that is set to welcome nearly 100 companies from 18 countries.

The exhibition promises to showcase “breakthrough technologies and start-ups that are playing a part in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

EU-US Collaboration

The EU’s Šefčovič and Moedas will also meet US energy secretary Ernest Moniz. Separately, vice-president Šefčovič will provide a keynote at the University of Stanford Hoover, and visit the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to talk about EU-US scientific cooperation in e-vehicle, smart grids and other clean energy technologies.

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