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VOL 7. No 38  SEPTEMBER 28 2009

An imressive collection of top global experts participated in the National Energy Summit and International Dialogue, organized by the Council on Competitiveness (COC), and held Sept.23-24 in Washington DC. Over 350 invited participants took part in the summit, which was also webcast.

Under a theme of Driving Competitiveness Through Sustainable Energy, the event first explored how future US economic prosperity is inextricably tied to the ability to create a sustainable and balanced energy system, and the pivotal role to be played in this transformation by the private sector in terms of speedy action and scale.

COC president Deborah Wince-Smith and DuPont chairman Charles Holliday kicked off this discussion, which drew on work by the Council’s Energy, Security, Innovation & Sustainability (ESIS) Initiative, co-chaired by Caterpillar Inc. CEO James Owens and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute president Shirley Ann Jackson, and release of Drive, a 78-page road map to achieve energy security, sustainability, and competitiveness.

Six panels of industry, academic, labor union and government leaders, including United Technologies Corp. chairman George David, GE vice chairman John Krenicki, World Resources Institute president Jonathan Lash, FedEx chairman Fed Smith, Univ. of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman, Arizona State Univ. president Michael Crow, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, National Academy of Sciences president Ralph Cicerone, then discussed future challenges. These included how to jumpstart energy infrastructure and manufacturing, mobilize a world-class workforce, spawn technology breakthroughs, and clear the way for Smart Grid. President Obama’s s&t advisor John Holdren and Lawrence Livermore National Lab director George Miller also took part in this dialogue.

High-level perspectives on these topics were provided in keynotes by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, with Capitol Hill views on them from Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Mark Warner, D-Va.

The summit’s second day program was an international dialogue, recognizing that energy security, climate change and other sustainability challenges transcend national borders, and featured speakers from Egypt,France, Iceland, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey as well international organizations such as UNIDO.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, NASDAQ vice chair Sandy Frucher, MIT president Susan Hockfield, and National Renewable Energy Lab director Dan Arvizu also participated.

A 12-point Call to Action for prosperity and competitiveness in a low-carbon world was issued at the start of the summit’s second day, and this served as a reference for the subsequent international dialogue sessions.

The COC summit’s key funder was the Department of Energy and the partners were Newsweek, the Brookings Institution, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, Energy Future Coalition, National Academy of Sciences, Securing America’s Future Energy, TransAtlantic Business Dialogue, UN Foundation, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute.

For more details on the COC summit, visit:

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