WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) President and incoming CEO Dr. Arshad Mansoor last week shared a sobering assessment of the rate and scale of economy-wide decarbonization in the U.S. and detailed the central roles that science, research, and innovation must play in the Biden administration’s energy and climate agenda.
In a discussion hosted by the global law firm Dentons and The Keystone Policy Center, “Decarbonization in the Biden Era – a Key Conversation,” Mansoor explained that reducing U.S. annual CO2 emissions from six gigatons in 2005 to five gigatons in 2020 is an achievement, but that “clearly, we [the U.S.] have to accelerate because if it takes us 15 years to take one gigaton out, it will take us a long, long time to get to zero.”
Mansoor was joined by former U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz, EPRI Board Member and CEO of CPS Energy Paula Gold-Williams – the only African-American female energy CEO in the U.S., San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and Dentons Partner and U.S. Energy Practice Chair Clint Vince.
“We have to put this on steroids,” Moniz said of the U.S. government’s inter-branch, bipartisan approach to decarbonizing the U.S. economy “if we are going to have any chance of meeting the 2035 and 2050 [emissions reduction] goals,” championed by the incoming Biden-Harris administration.
Moniz emphasized the importance of swift climate action from the federal government and acknowledged the likely need for “a whole package of executive actions” from soon-to-be President Joe Biden, whose administration’s decarbonization agenda Moniz affirmed must “be based upon an enormous, supercharged decade of innovation starting now.”
Mansoor endorsed Moniz’s assessment of the climate challenge facing the incoming administration and affirmed his longtime friend and colleague’s call to action.
“I’m going to echo what Secretary Moniz said. Let’s supercharge innovation,” said Mansoor. “But only [investing] money or funding is not going to do it. We need to all unify in this grand [climate] challenge. National labs are one of the best resources we have in this country,” appealed Mansoor, explaining his plans to strengthen EPRI’s collaboration with the national labs and his hope for strategic engagement with the incoming administration.
Gold-Williams, Nirenberg, and Vince each expressed their concerns with the size and scope of the climate challenge that lay ahead for their industries and communities. Consensus was that both public and private sector-led decarbonization efforts should take into consideration issues of equity and environmental justice.
Vince summarized the event themes saying in part “my wish for the Biden administration for the United States and beyond is that we can really be fierce on maintaining mandates and goals… and that we really allow technology to develop without attempting to pick winners and losers when we don’t know yet enough about the developments that will occur.”
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment. EPRI’s members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.
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SOURCE Electric Power Research Institute