Saving Lives, Livelihoods, and Life

An endangered Agalychnis annae, commonly known as a Blue-Sided Leaf Frog, is seen at National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica, INBio, in Heredia, Costa Rica, Oct. 21, 2009. [AP File Photo]

About the Authors: Harold Varmus, M.D., co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, is the Director of the National Cancer Institute, and Robert Hormats, Ph.D., is the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State.

For many people, the term biodiversity might seem highly technical and irrelevant to their day to day concerns. If you think that, think again. It may just save your life.

Biological diversity… more »

Policy Perspectives on Women and Energy

An Indian worker looks at solar panels from a watch tower at the Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka in Patan district, about 250 kilometers from Ahmadabad, India, April 14, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Julia Nesheiwat serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources.

I recently had the pleasure to travel to Amman, Jordan, to attend the U.S.-Jordan Business Forum. My trip happened to fall over International Women’s Day, which gave me added incentive to engage on women’s issues while in country. Across the Jordanian energy sector, I came across a number of extraordinary women, including Barbara Broomell, the executive Director of the Arab Women’s Leadership Institute (AWLI), who are working to alleviate the pressures of a dire electricity crisis and to build a more sustainable energy future for all Jordanians and the region. I was particularly encouraged by the work of Jordan’s EDAMA Association, which seeks to create private sector partnerships to develop a viable clean energy sector in Jordan.

In the Department of State’s new Energy Resources… more »

Meeting of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission’s Economic and People-to-People Working Groups

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 17, 2012

The U.S. Department of State will hold meetings of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission working groups for Economic, Energy, and Trade on December 17 and People-to-People Cultural Exchanges on December 18.

The Economic, Energy, and Trade Working Group will be led by the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Robert Manogue and U.S. Department of Commerce Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary John Andersen. The Georgian co-chairs will be Davit Zalkaliani, First Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Irakli Matkava, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic and Sustainable Development. The Working Group will discuss cooperation in bilateral trade and investment, agriculture, intellectual property rights, energy security and supply diversification, infrastructure development, and regional economic integration. MORE

Building ‘Green’ in the Middle East

Site manager at Saudi Arabias solar village, poses at the array field, Aug. 1989. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Patrick Meyer is the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Adviser in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

Globally, more than half of the world’s population now lives in urban settlements, and over the next 30 years virtually all of the world’s population growth is expected to be concentrated in urban areas in the developing world. Energy demand will also increase — and in some countries, dramatically. Electricity demand in the residential and commercial sectors is projected to increase at 2.5 and 2 percent per year, respectively, outpacing population growth as access to electricity increases and the use of appliances and air conditioning expands. Electricity demand in the residential sector is projected to increase by nearly 90 percent globally by 2035.

Green buildings are an approach to building that meet the demands of the 21st century and have many proven benefits, including lower long-term operating costs via reduced energy consumption, reduced emissions, improved… more »

Joint Statement on the U.S.-EU Energy Council

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 5, 2012

The fourth U.S.-EU Energy Council met today in Brussels and was chaired by EU High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton, Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. The Energy Council, a central component of the U.S.-EU energy relationship, promotes transparent and secure global energy markets; fosters cooperation on regulatory frameworks that encourage the efficient and sustainable use of energy; and identifies joint research priorities that promote clean energy technologies. These actions help to boost economic growth, reduce carbon emissions, and create new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Energy Security

The Energy Council recognized the ongoing work in consolidating the EU internal energy market, which has greatly reduced the vulnerabilities of EU member states to gas supply disruption, diversified choices for electricity and gas sources and routes, and improved the opportunities for renewable energy producers.

The Energy Council recognized the expansion of shale gas and shale oil production in the United States, which is having a profound impact on global energy markets. The Council also acknowledged the continued importance of exchanging information on best practices and regulatory requirements, in particular within the framework of the high level platform on unconventional gas best practices planned by the International Energy Agency. MORE

Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Travels to Prague, Brussels, Dublin, and Belfast

Secretary Clinton boards plane in Beirut, Lebanon, April 26, 2009. [State Department Photo]

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Prague, the Czech Republic; Brussels, Belgium; Dublin, Ireland; and Belfast, Northern Ireland December 3-7.

Secretary Clinton will travel to Prague, the Czech Republic, December 3 to meet with Czech officials on strengthening Czech energy independence, as well as advancing human rights and supporting democratic transitions around the world.

Secretary Clinton will visit Brussels, Belgium, December 4-5 to participate in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. The Secretary and her counterparts will discuss current security challenges in the Western Balkans and NATO’s global partnerships. The Secretary will participate in a foreign ministers’ meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on December 4 and of the NATO-Georgia Commission on December 5. NATO foreign ministers will also meet with their non-NATO partners… more »

FACT SHEET On The U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership For A Sustainable Energy

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
November 20, 2012

Recognizing that energy and the environment are among the most pressing issues confronting our region, President Obama, in partnership with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and President of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, today proposed the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future.  The Partnership will offer a framework for consolidating and expanding energy and environmental cooperation across existing regional forums to advance efforts to ensure affordable, secure, and cleaner energy supplies for the region.  Bilateral and multilateral energy and environmental initiatives are flourishing in the Asia Pacific, and the United States, in partnership with Brunei and Indonesia, will help coordinate and enhance these efforts, share best practices, and leverage existing initiatives across the various forums that undertake this work. 

The Partnership will build upon the existing energy initiatives in the region, including the ASEAN-United States Energy Cooperation Work Plan, the APEC Energy Working Group, the East Asia Summit Energy Ministers and other forums to expand practical cooperation across the region, promote greater energy connectivity and integration, and encourage collaborative work across these and other forums, including through joint capacity building efforts.  

The Partnership will drive investment and facilitate progress on four key regional priorities: renewables and cleaner energy; markets and interconnectivity; the emerging role of natural gas; and sustainable development.  We will engage with the private sector as well as partner countries in the region to determine specific projects within these four priority areas.  We will work closely with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to enhance their work in the region on these issues.  With an estimated $9 trillion needed in investment in electricity alone through 2035 to meet growing demand in the region, there is enormous potential for U.S. industry to play an important role in the region’s energy future. MORE

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson, State Department Director of Policy Planning Jake Sullivan, and U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall discuss their work at the UN General Assembly in New York. [Go to for more video and text transcript.]

Increasing Access to Affordable Electricity Across the Hemisphere

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, alongside Columbian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin Cuellarmeets, center left, addresses the Connecting the Americas meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012 in New York. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Roberta S. Jacobson serves as Assistant Secretary of State forWestern Hemisphere Affairs.

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of participating in a meeting with Secretary Clinton that she co-hosted with Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Ángela Holguin to advanceConnecting the Americas 2022 (Connect 2022), the newest initiative under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. The meeting included many foreign ministers from the Western Hemisphere and focused on how Connect 2022 aims to increase energy access to citizens across our hemisphere.

More than 31 million people in the Western Hemisphere lack access to affordable, reliable energy services. Compared to the rest of the world, the Americas has high rates of electricity access, but far too many… more »

A worker restores damaged energy cables a day in southeastern Mexico in the Yucatan peninsula, Aug. 22, 2007. [AP File Photo]

By: Matthew Rooney, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

As the Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador 10 years ago, I worked on an effort to connect Central American power grids. I was in Panama last week, this time as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Economic Policy, and met with Central American energy ministers. I was so impressed by how far they’ve come. Almost two decades after beginning this effort, El Salvador and its neighbors are very close to creating a regional market for electrical power…