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Memorandum of Understanding Between the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

Amb. Reno L. Harnish, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Oceans and International Evironmental and Scientific Affairs
Remarks at Signing Event
Overland Park, KS
September 9, 2008

Thank you very much. It’s a great pleasure to be here today, to participate with you all in this joint undertaking to bring clean technology to China and India. I want to take this opportunity to thank Dub Taylor and the National Association of State Energy Officials for inviting me to be a part of this ceremony. As an American diplomat, I’m delighted to be here representing the U.S-funded Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, or APP, as we enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with NASEO.

APP is a unique initiative funded by the U.S. government and designed to leverage the power of public-private partnership to accelerate clean development throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The APP is a practical, results-oriented partnership that is a key part of the broader United States government strategy to engage the world’s largest developed and developing economies in the effort to combat climate change and foster a cleaner energy future.

The climate change negotiators in my office at the State Department are looking forward to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Poznan, Poland this year. The international meeting in December will be an important milestone in our efforts to construct a post-2012 framework agreement on climate change. To get there, we need a plan that is both environmentally effective and economically sustainable. And we need major emerging economies like China and India to join developed countries. That’s why the Asia-Pacific Partnership is so crucial and why our American government supports it.

Day in and day out, and sector by sector, the APP provides an innovative public-private forum for government and industry leaders from seven of the largest nations in the region to identify opportunities to commercialize and deploy cleaner technologies. Partner countries Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States collectively account for over half of the world’s economy, population, and energy use.

By combining efforts to foster practical cooperation in eight key energy-intensive sectors – aluminum, buildings and appliances, cement, cleaner fossil energy, coal-mining, power generation and transmission, renewable energy and distributed generation, and steel – the APP partner nations are promoting and advancing energy efficiency, climate, sustainable development, and energy security goals.

Thus far, the United States has appropriated over $70 million to the APP. We have requested $26 million for the coming fiscal year, and I am pleased that we enjoy broad bipartisan support in Congress. Our APP funding is a solid investment. The reason is the United States has seen how effective APP activities are in promoting common knowledge among member countries in understanding their respective barriers and opportunities. This is a prerequisite for an effective negotiating environment for global climate change.

After just two years of hard work, there are over 100 projects currently endorsed by the Partnership that are yielding significant results. Through APP trade missions, American companies have seen an increase in business activities in China and India. For example, this year’s mission resulted in an order of 30 hybrid-powered buses by the city of Guangzhou. In India, APP is working to increase the efficiency of power plants, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And another project is promoting the uptake of compact fluorescent lamps in China.

Through many of these projects, the APP focuses on the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency because the U.S. continues to be a major producer of renewable energy such as biofuels, and a principal developer of many renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, and battery. The U.S. is also a sustainable marketplace for renewable energy industries located around the globe. And we also lead the world in venture capital investment in renewable energy.

In March, the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (now known as WIREC) was organized by my State Department office. Nine thousand participants came from over 126 countries to discuss cross-cutting renewable energy issues, including the involvement of state and local governments. An important outcome of the conference was the Washington International Action Program, through which a series of 145 pledges were made to advance and accelerate the rapid development and deployment of renewable energy technologies. I am pleased to say hat NASEO’s pledge, in partnership with thirty-one states, was a strong, positive contribution to the overall WIREC success. It is anticipated that through your actions, approximately 400,000 GWhrs will be produced by renewable energy resources in 2020.

Like WIREC, the APP provides a launch pad for specific, focused, on-the-ground initiatives by the public and private sectors to promote widespread adoption of cost-effective renewable energy technologies. The APP seeks to not only involve the private sector in its activities, but to also work with state and local governments. One collaborative example of this is a project that is promoting energy efficiency cooperation between the Indian state of Maharashtra and the state of California that will help alleviate Maharashtra’s 5000 MW energy shortfall.

We in the APP look to expand our work with state and local governments that are paving the way for a cleaner energy future. We welcome and are actively seeking your increased participation in APP activities. We look forward to productive cooperation with NASEO to promote our shared goals of clean development and increased renewable and clean energy uptake as we work to help solve global energy challenges. Thank you very much for honoring me with your invitation to participate in this important event today.

Released on September 10, 2008

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