Energy Efficiency ‘Visionaries’ from EU, Latin America, U.S. Honored at Alliance to Save Energy’s EE Global Forum | Alliance to Save Energy

Energy Efficiency ‘Visionaries’ from EU, Latin America, U.S. Honored at Alliance to Save Energy’s EE Global Forum

Release Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2011 – Highlighting the international scope of its Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global) and the importance of energy efficiency worldwide, the Alliance to Save Energy will honor seven energy efficiency “visionaries” from four European countries, Costa Rica, Mexico and the United States at an April 14 awards luncheon that will close out its three-day conference at The SQUARE Meeting Centre here. This year’s EE Global is attracting hundreds of energy policy makers and business and NGO leaders from nearly 40 countries.

The award winners, selected by the EE Global International Steering Committee (ISC), are:

  • Bendt Bendtsen, European Parliament member from Denmark and rapporteur for the Energy Efficiency Action Plan;
  • Hon. Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, president of Mexico (represented by Emiliano Pedraza, general director of the National Commission for Energy Efficiency);
  • Lena Ek, European Parliament member from Sweden;
  • Christiana Figueres, executive secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
  • Peter Liese, European Parliament member from Germany;
  • Bill Ritter Jr., former Colorado governor and currently director, Center for the New Energy Economy, Colorado State University; and
  • Claude Turmes, European Parliament member from Luxembourg.

In addition to the seven awardees, Thursday’s luncheon/plenary session (12:15-13:34) will be addressed by Siemens Industry Inc.’s President, Building Technologies Division, Andreas Schierenbeck in recognition of the company’s sponsorship of the event.

“The EE Global Plenary Awards Luncheon is designed to celebrate and showcase the visionary policy makers behind today’s ‘best of the best’ practices in energy efficiency,” noted Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “We congratulate the winners for their outstanding contributions to the global advancement of energy efficiency – a key mission of the Alliance to Save Energy and of EE Global itself.”

Bendtsen was chairman of the Danish Conservative Party from 2000 to 2008 and in the Anders Fogh Rasmussen government as deputy prime minister and minister for economy and business affairs from 2001 to 2008).  A member of the European People’s Party, he was elected to the European Parliament in June 2009 and is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

Calderón was appointed Mexico’s Secretary of Energy in 2003 by President Vicente Fox and was charged with pursuing the modernization of Mexico’s biggest and most important energy-related industries, PEMEX and the National Electric Company. In 2005 his party elected him as a candidate for the presidency, and in 2006 he won that office in one of the country’s most competitive elections. He previously was elected a congressman in 1991 and 2003 and received the NAFTA Congressional Leadership Award and the Eagle to the Legislative Merit award from the Chamber of Manufacturing Industry. Caderón holds several advanced degrees – a law degree from one of Mexico’s most prominent law schools, a Master’s Degree in economy from a prominent Mexican school of economics and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Ek, a member of the European Parliament since 2004, represents the Swedish Centre Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).  She is the ALDE coordinator on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and negotiated the parliament’s Energy Labeling Directive.

Figueres was appointed as the new executive secretary for the UNFCCC in May 2010 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. She has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995, the year she founded the Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas, a nonprofit think tank for climate change policy and capacity-building, which she directed until 2003. From 1994-1996, she served as Director of the Technical Secretariat, Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA).  Figueres began her life of public service as minister counsellor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany, in 1982 and has served on boards of several nongovernmental organizations involved in climate change issues, including the Voluntary Carbon Standard. She is a widely published author on the design of climate solutions and a frequent advisor to the private sector.

Liese sits on the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and is a substitute for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, a member of the delegation for relations with the countries of Central America and a substitute for the delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Ritter, elected as Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006, made his state an international hub for a clean energy economy by modernizing funding for the transportation system and protecting Colorado's natural treasures and resources. In February 2011, Ritter became director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, where he continues to advance clean energy.

Turmes, a member of the Green/European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament since 1999 and a vice-president of the group since 2002, is responsible for coordination of energy policy within the group and was the parliament's rapporteur on the second directive on the liberalization of the energy market. He has also launched the concept of “Energy Intelligent Europe” with the aim of promoting European energy efficiency initiatives and establishment of a European agency for energy efficiency. Currently, he is rapporteur on the Renewable Energy Directive and member of the Temporary Committee on Climate Change of the European Parliament.