Energy leaders, academics and government officials from around the world will convene in Pittsburgh in a few weeks to discuss pressing issues such as climate change, energy security and decarbonization.
The Global Clean Energy Action Forum, or GCEAF, which begins Sept. 21, allows top energy and environmental experts meet to exchange ideas, advance policy and create solutions. It is being hosted by the U.S Department of Energy and Carnegie Mellon University.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, a co-chairman of the conference host committee, said the region’s work in developing and implementing clean energy made Pittsburgh a perfect location choice.
“Dealing with climate change and furthering decarbonization is something this region is really committed to, and we are so glad to work with all of our partners around the world in achieving those goals,” Fitzgerald said.
The GCEAF will be comprised of two major components: the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation.
The ministerial is a summit that “brings together the world’s largest and leading countries, international organizations and companies to achieve a single mission: accelerate clean energy transitions,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
And Mission Innovation is “a global initiative catalyzing a decade of action and investment in research, development and demonstration to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible for all. This will accelerate progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and pathways to net zero,” according to the Forum.
The three-day gathering, anchored in downtown Pittsburgh’s LEED Platinum Certified David E. Lawrence Convention Center, will feature formal meetings as well as a full roster of events, including a Business Forum and Clean Energy Showcase that will highlight Pittsburgh’s innovators and leaders.
PIT’s solar farm was built atop a closed landfill site on land that cannot otherwise be developed. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)
Fitzgerald touted the region’s universities, including CMU and the University of Pittsburgh, as leaders in green energy. He also pointed to Pittsburgh International Airport’s first-in-the-world microgrid, which uses natural gas-fired generators and nearly 10,000 solar panels in powering the airport and reducing its carbon footprint.
“We want to thank the Biden Administration and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm for bringing this symposium to Pittsburgh and highlighting the advances we have made,” he said.
Christina Cassotis, CEO of Pittsburgh International Airport and member of the GCEAF host committee, said the airport and the region are prime examples of clean energy innovation.
“Innovation is part of the region’s DNA, and the fact that this conference selected Pittsburgh as a backdrop for critical discussions about the world’s energy transition recognizes the world-leading work that’s already happening here,” Cassotis said. “The Pittsburgh region is leading the way into the future of clean energy.”
Participants can also see how the Pittsburgh region is advancing technology and sustainability through visits to CMU Energy Research at Hazelwood Green, Eos Energy Enterprises, Westinghouse and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden.
Those traveling to Pittsburgh by air will experience energy innovation the second they touch down at PIT, where the entire airport and surrounding campus are powered by the 23-megawatt microgrid, which has cut the airport’s carbon emissions by more than 8 million pounds in its first year of operation. Attendees can also tour the airport campus and microgrid as part of the conference’s off-site visit program.
Registration for the event is free and open to the public. More information can be found at gceaf.org.