John Podesta – plenary session one

Taking the podium, John Podesta, President of  the Center for American Progress and Co-Chair of the Obama Transition team, opens with the observation that there has been a sea change in attitude in America with regard to climate change and environmental policy. Clean energy, he asserts, is at the heart of the economic recovery plan and clean energy finance and clean energy development are leading drivers in this sea change.

A big problem at the moment is financing.  It is pointed out that there has been dramatic reductions in investments in renewables, both in the US and globally in first quarter of 2009. This needs to be addressed. 

The creation of a public green bank for new technologies is one new idea in America, that Podesta calls to mind, going on to maintain that this idea has traction on Capitol Hill , while predicting that it could find its way through the House  in the Summer and the Senate in advance of Copehagnen. This he concludes will put the US in a position to be a on the transition to a low-carbon society.

*Live notes – not verbatim


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