The BCSE, in partnership with the Energy Efficiency Global Alliance, is co-hosting a virtual event during Climate Week NYC, “A Solution Set for Complex Challenges: Clean Energy and Climate, COVID-19 and Economic Recovery” on September 23.
The convergence of the crises experienced in 2020 ̶ the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, an emerging economic recession, the direct impacts of climate change and a rising racial and social justice movement ̶ is revealing both shortfalls and opportunities in our society and economy.
This event will bring together experts and executives for a practical discussion on how to optimize the response to these challenges by utilizing energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.
Deploying this “solution set” at the scale required by the climate science is no easy task, but I am optimistic and emboldened by what I know is possible with existing technologies. We have already seen how clean energy has helped our critical infrastructure continue to operate throughout the pandemic and provide essential services. But we have also experienced significant job losses in the clean energy sector due to stay-at-home orders and the slowdown in our economy.
It is from the depths of the crises of 2020 that we can make an exponential impact on tomorrow’s climate, social and economic trajectories. As governments and companies alike seek to simultaneously set an immediate path to recovery and to ratchet up climate ambition, the opportunities for clean energy to “multi-task” the solutions are many:
- We can restore and create new jobs, and expand the sector’s reach to underrepresented communities and build a more equitable economy.
- We can invest in the resilience of communities – in our schools, hospitals, office buildings, electricity grid and other critical infrastructure, and invest in the protection of our essential service providers – from workers in grocery stores to public transportation to first responders.
- We can advance the progress of clean energy to continue to reduce emissions in the power and transport sector and begin to make significant gains in the buildings and industrial sectors.
- We can accelerate partnerships with local, state and federal policymakers to implement policies and create financial tools that will help us emerge from these crises better off from where we started.
Multiple and simultaneous crises require innovative thinking, a can-do attitude, financial capital and the political will to respond at the scale that is necessary. Clean energy is at the ready. It is time to deploy.
Climate Week NYC 2020 is an all virtual event and will be held September 21 – 27.