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Earth Day Reflections: Powering Forward Together with Sustainable Energy

Fifty years after the first Earth Day, we know more about how the private sector and the public sector can work together to be good stewards and responsible citizens of this shared Earth.

As we recognize the 50th celebration of Earth Day, it is important to note that the awareness of the impact of human actions on the environment, from the local level to the international, has grown exponentially. The complexity of addressing global issues such as climate change and now the COVID-19 pandemic are immense, and a lot of work remains to be done. But today we are better equipped – with technologies and systems, institutions, and policies – to tackle these challenges, and clean energy has an essential role to play.

In 1992, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) was established by executives from the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors in the United States in advance of the first United Nations’ Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Since that moment, the BCSE has brought the business voice of clean energy to that and subsequent Earth Summits, and to the annual conferences of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). For nearly the past three decades, it has brought that same business voice to the halls of Congress, the White House and to state houses and offices – to talk about how a cleaner, diversified energy portfolio can deliver both economic and environmental benefits.

The progress of clean energy in the United States has been tremendous over the past fifty years. The Sustainable Energy in America Factbook has chronicled this transformation in U.S. markets, and the 2020 edition takes a close look at the #CleanEnergyDecade of the 2010s. Its findings underscore that we do not have to sacrifice economic growth when choosing clean energy. Clean energy is cost-competitive. It delivers with enhanced reliability, security and resilience.

By working together and optimizing the benefits of public-private partnerships, we are encouraged that we can power forward together to bring even more clean energy into our economy, and to build a more resilient and sustainable future for us all.


Join the BCSE and the Clean Energy Business Network (CEBN) for the launch of a new webinar series, Powering Forward, on Friday, April 24 at 2:00 pm ET.  The first edition will focus on the Federal Emergency Management Association's Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program and will be co-hosted with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). Register here.