Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas
"Under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas that I proposed, countries have stepped forward, each providing leadership and expertise. These are exactly the kind of partnerships that we need — neighbors joining with neighbors to unleash the progress that none of us can achieve alone." –President Barack Obama
Energy security and climate change are urgent global challenges. Promoting clean energy, low-carbon development, and climate-resilient growth are among the U.S. government’s highest priorities. The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) is a regional partnership that supports these goals.
President Obama's Vision:
At the 2009 Summit of the Americas, the President invited members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to participate in the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Since then, ECPA has become a successful platform for sharing ideas and devising solutions to achieve collective energy and climate goals. The Department of State, the Department of Energy, and other U.S. government agencies lead U.S. participation. ECPA provides a voluntary and flexible framework for member countries to advance cooperation on: renewable energy, energy efficiency, cleaner/efficient use of fossil fuels, energy poverty reduction, energy infrastructure, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable forests and land use.
The U.S. Government's Ongoing Commitment to ECPA:
The United States remains committed to this innovative platform for cooperation among stakeholders in promoting energy security and addressing the effects of climate change in the Americas. The Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs recently awarded eight new grants for ECPA initiatives, totaling nearly $8 million, to a variety of non-governmental institutions, including non-profit organizations, universities, and the OAS. These organizations will work with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen capacity and share best practices in clean energy, sustainable urban development, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and reducing emissions from deforestation. For a list of these projects and for more information, visit the ECPA clearinghouse at http://www.ecpamericas.org/.
Support for ECPA:
The United States and other governments in the region have cooperated on 40 ECPA initiatives and projects. The United States government has contributed approximately $150 million to support collaborative ECPA projects, including:
- A Peace Corps initiative that has helped over 7,500 individuals in 11 countries to access cleaner energy, primarily through clean cookstoves and solar panels;
- A collaborative NASA-USAID program to integrate satellite observations, ground-based data, and forecast models to monitor environmental changes and improve the response to natural disasters in Central America;
- A Department of Energy/Inter-American Development Bank Energy Innovation Center that serves as a regional incubator for project implementation and financing and provides technical assistance;
- A U.S. Trade and Development Agency initiative that connected 40 public sector officials and private sector representatives from 15 countries with 200 U.S. clean energy companies, supporting renewable energy projects in the region and leading to over $18 million in U.S. clean energy exports;
- Smart Grid electricity pilot projects that strengthened energy security, boosted competitiveness, and educated nearly 30,000 Costa Ricans about clean energy alternatives;
- Technical assistance grants that Secretary Clinton announced in June 2011 are accelerating renewable energy development in the Caribbean, including the installation of photo-voltaic solar energy panels at the headquarters of the Dominican Republic National Energy Commission.