"We must come together to find new ways to produce and use energy…So today, I'm proposing the creation of a new Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas that can forge progress to a more secure and sustainable future."
- President Barack Obama
Leaders of the Western Hemisphere recognize that energy is fundamental to sustainable development and they are committed to expanding cooperation to address the urgent and intertwined challenges of energy security and climate change. Energy Ministers met with civil society and the private sector at the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas on April 15-16, 2010, in Washington, D.C., at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS), hosted by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and with participation by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
ECPA – President Obama’s Vision
President Obama proposed an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in April 2009. His vision is that ECPA can bring countries across the Western Hemisphere together to facilitate the acceleration of clean energy development and deployment, advance energy security, and reduce energy poverty by sharing best practices, encouraging investment, and cooperating on technology research, development and deployment. ECPA is shaped by the five pillars laid out by President Obama:
- Energy efficiency;
- Renewable energy;
- Cleaner fossil fuels;
- Infrastructure; and
- Energy Poverty
ECPA - Open Invitation and Flexible Framework
Joining the ECPA partnership is voluntary, allowing governments, Inter-American organizations, private industry, and civil society to lead or participate in initiatives that reflect their priorities. Governments may work jointly or on their own to lead initiatives, finance activities, and/or create welcoming policy environments that encourage development. Countries identify areas where they can contribute or need assistance, collaborate, and share on the Organization of American States (OAS) ECPA information clearinghouse website.
ECPA - Initiatives
Initiatives currently underway include:
- A Low Carbon Communities program launched by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that will assist Costa Rican, Dominican, Peruvian, Colombian and Caribbean governments to develop transformative energy programs and policies;
- A promotion of sustainable urban development and planning by Brazil;
- Strengthening of electrical interconnections in the Andean region, led by Colombia;
- Clean energy technology centers that include a regional Energy Efficiency Center led by Peru; a regional Wind Research Center supported by Mexico; a regional Renewable Energy Center with Chile; an Energy Efficiency Center in Costa Rica with the Natural Resources Defense Council; a Biomass Center in Brazil; and a Geothermal Center in El Salvador, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and DOE.