David Ely, President/CEO of Energy Design Service Systems (EDSS), traveled to Los Angeles last week to attend the inaugural U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit. The two major economic powers joined together to influence other nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Both California Governor Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti remarked during a series of opening speeches that the U.S. and China have a special responsibility to address climate change because of the size of their economies, their significant carbon footprints, and their ability to influence other nations to make crucial changes to environmental policy.
Many U.S. mayors and governors as well as the dignitaries Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi attended the summit. “I was impressed by the real concern about climate change shown by these important dignitaries, and their commitment to make a difference,” said David.
The summit was intended to show both China and U.S.’s commitment to take parallel action to address climate change, and to engage city, state, municipal, private sector, and NGO partners in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It focused on action that could be taken at the local level to quickly implement change, emphasizing the importance of grassroots efforts to combat global warming. City and regional leaders from both countries discussed low-carbon city planning, climate-smart buildings, and green infrastructure. Jacob Liu, a Lighting Designer at EDSS who also attended, was exited to learn about the Beijing’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions not just by upgrading their hardware but with how people consume energy in the first place.
The summit worked to build a coalition of community partners, as participants shared strategies and lessons garnered from local attempts to reduce emissions in both China and the U.S. David commented, “There are far more local climate change policies being enacted right now than I realized, like AB 32 in California and mandatory energy audits in cities all over the U.S.”
Attending this historic summit has inspired David to establish new services at EDSS to help customers address climate change and the new policies being implemented around the country. EDSS is developing carbon tracking services to help clients identify and reduce their carbon footprint. Combined with EDSS’s strong existing energy auditing programs, these carbon tracking services will allow EDSS to offer comprehensive conservation consulting to its customers in the coming months.