U.S. Energy Czar Says Domestic Legislation Key to Cleantech

Dec 7 2009 | 6:42am ET

On the eve of the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, U.S. Energy and Climate Change Czar Carol Browner told a DC conference that while international agreements are important, domestic climate change legislation is crucial to greater investment in clean technologies.

Speaking at the Innovation Economy Conference in Washington, DC, Browner said:

“We need to give the private sector rules of the road and standards so we can start to see investments. It’s through comprehensive reform that we will send the right signals to investors.”

Browner said companies need to know about new energy consumption rules and carbon reduction targets to manage their businesses, as do entrepreneurs planning to launch new and innovative cleantech ventures.

Browner said that about $80 billion in stimulus funding has been earmarked for green and renewable energy technology, and all programs supported by these funds have been oversubscribed.

“It shows the private sector is willing to make investments, but with the economic conditions and tight capital markets, we need to create an environment where there is a guaranteed return on those investments,” she said. “We haven't quite gotten there yet.”

Browner is the former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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