This week at the World Urban Forum (WUF) in Rio de Janeiro, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims praised Brazil’s efforts, under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), to promote sustainable urbanization across the Americas. On Friday, March 26, the Secretary of State's Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs, Reta Lewis, will deliver remarks at the closing ceremony.
Brazil’s initiative promotes green buildings, energy efficient housing, sustainable transport, and greenhouse gas reductions from solid waste, particularly in low-income communities across the region. Efforts today to build sustainable low-income housing could help to lower our carbon footprint for decades to come. The initiative also includes participation from the Governments of Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico.
“The United States is delighted to be working so closely with Brazil and our other friends in the Americas to chart a more sustainable future for our continents and the world," said Deputy Secretary Sims. "We have much to learn from each other and in sharing the brightest ideas and cleanest technologies we can reduce our collective carbon footprint, while building more sustainable cities.”
At the April 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. President Barack Obama invited all governments in the Western Hemisphere to join the ECPA. ECPA is comprised of voluntary initiatives focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, infrastructure, and energy poverty. At the June 2009 Americas Energy and Climate Symposium in Peru, the Government of Brazil offered to lead an ECPA initiative, Building with Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
, which focuses on urban development in low-income areas. U.S. support for Brazil’s initiative includes collaboration by the Department of State in developing a network of academics, funding policy dialogues with practitioners, launching technical and university exchanges, and developing best practices on urbanization so that all governments may benefit from each others’ experiences.
Leaders will discuss this partnership and other ECPA initiatives when energy ministers from across the hemisphere meet April 15-16, 2010, in Washington, DC, at the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas, hosted by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and with participation by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.