Energy secretary optimistic for climate pact

Energy secretary optimistic for climate pact
© Anne Wernikoff

Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizWhat we learned from the first Green New Deal Overnight Energy: GOP pushes back on climate | 2018 was fourth hottest year on record | Park Service reverses on using fees Pompeo: Kerry's conversations with Iran 'unseemly and unprecedented' MORE said on Monday he is optimistic that world leaders will come to an agreement to fight climate change and that technology will play a key role in the effort.

Moniz said advances in technology are the main reason that he is optimistic about the results of the December meeting in Paris hosted by the United Nations, where world leaders hope to come to a deal on reducing greenhouse gases.

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Technology sets the Paris meeting apart from previous attempts at a deal, including the 2009 U.N. meeting in Copenhagen that did not yield a deal, Moniz said at the National Clean Energy Summit 8.0 in Las Vegas.

“I believe that continued technology innovation and cost reduction ultimately will be the determinant of strong policy moves, because a lot more becomes possible with cost reduction, especially in the emerging economies,” Moniz said in a conversation with John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and a former adviser to presidents Obama and Clinton.

“And so I’m very pleased that in Paris there’s going to be, I think, a stronger focus on technology innovation than has been the case in the past,” he said.

President Obama is scheduled to give the closing keynote address later Monday at the event, which is hosted by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Earlier Monday, the White House said Obama would speak at length about renewable energy’s role in fighting climate change, and would announce efforts to boost clean energy.

Moniz and Podesta singled out carbon capture and storage (CCS) — in which carbon dioxide is removed from a fossil fuel-fired power plant and stored — as a promising technology to reduce greenhouse gases.

“CCS certainly, I think remains a very important area for us to develop, because we need all the tools that we can get,” Moniz said.

Moniz said the climate deal Obama struck with China last year will enable the countries to collaborate extensively on carbon capture.