Green Growth is the Way of the Future: Swiss and U.S. Officials Advocate Clean Technology
April 13, 2010 (Washington D.C.) -
"Countries that embrace a long-term policy towards clean technology will be the winner in the future market," said Swiss President Doris Leuthard during a briefing with U.S. officials. This sentiment was echoed by Matt Rogers, a Senior Advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy and Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri).
Leuthard, who also heads Switzerland's Federal Department of Economic Affairs, is in Washington to participate in the Nuclear Summit. She made a stop on Capital Hill yesterday to speak at a high-level luncheon briefing on the topic of clean technology, which has been a priority in her administration's economic stimulus package. Leuthard outlined the Swiss government's approach, which involves economic incentives and the establishment of rigorous standards. She stressed the importance of investing in technology and the training of skilled labor, so that the country can be poised to take advantage of market opportunities.
Rogers and Carnahan agreed with Leuthard that the economic potential for clean technology was very large: "It is the next industrial revolution," said Rogers, who oversees the DOE's $36.7 billion in Recovery Act appropriations. Rogers also stated that he had "great respect for Swiss technology in this field" and agreed that incentives and standards are key: "Markets need clear expectations with clear rules so that they can adjust." Congressman Carnahan cited the example of the building and construction sector, which accounts for 15% of GDP per year. "High performance buildings," he said "can meet 85% of the future demand for energy in the U.S."
The briefing was co-sponsored by the Embassy of Switzerland as part of it's ThinkSwiss program, which is designed to engage U.S. policy and research leaders in dialogue on topics of global importance, with an eye towards creating global solutions. Other partners in this event were The World Resources Institute, The U.S. Green Building Council and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.