Sustainable Ways to Community Prosperity: Leading the Way to the Transatlantic Climate Bridge



delegations from denmark in germany including time hero of the environment for 2008 Soren Hermanson and Mayor Wilfred ruse of the city of sour back came together with business and community leaders in Charlottesville Virginia for a day-long forum on sustainable ways to community prosperity some people think that if they change light bulbs okay they're sustainable and and I would say that's a great start fantastic what can we do next and sustainability really has three dimensions to it so we're talking about the economic aspect we're talking about the environmental aspect and then thirdly we're talking about the social aspect today's conference provided a wonderful opportunity for American communities to learn from their German and Danish counterparts which is one of the goals of the transatlantic climate bridge as you know it is because of their foresight that we have an industry today at the point of maturity where it is so this exchange was more about community energy and community approaches to sustainability and I think it was a great way for Charlottesville to benefit from the point of view and the lessons learned in Europe so I think the good way would be to start at the decentralized local level and say to them this will create jobs in your neighborhood this will create the business for small and medium enterprises and this will create savings and energy options for for citizens and but you can do that in America they discussed the municipality of fisted which is almost fossil fuel free the island of Sam so achieved energy self-sufficiency in a decade's time what we set it up in with the master plan saying that we would in 10 years to it by by the means of proven technology indicating how we would do it year by year step by step so it would be more in my markets and more simple to understand what it was all about Germany a leader in energy efficiency and renewable energies demonstrated what is possible with the new energy transition we all saw from our European guests particularly our germ visitors and our danish visitors what exciting things they are doing in their local communities that we as Americans can learn from and this is something you can start from today on so you don't need feed-in tariffs you don't need a big renewable installations energy efficient efficiency is something somebody everybody can start from today on at home or in the facilities the city of Munich the municipalities of Sarah back and asked Phil Dern with its former US barracks showcased how German cities and regions are going to have one hundred percent renewable energy supply in the near future our target is to get all Munich energy consumption covered by renewable energies an hour on portfolio 7.5 million kilowatt-hours decreasing their energy use and at the same time increasing community well-being this is pretty exciting and suggests some innovative opportunities that I think American communities can learn from in order to reduce our own environmental impact the keynote speech for the event was given by the president of a core Vice Admiral Dennis V McGinn energy economy environment are inextricably linked to our national security overall and that we really can't be too sanguine about continuing a business as usual approach in fact we have to change we will change it's just a matter are we going to do it now or are we going to wait until our back is against the wall when our options are so much more limited and so much more expensive than if we start being proactive right now these are the kinds of conversations that we need to have among ourselves and we need to bring them into our circle of family friends and communities so that we can as Americans understand this is a great time of change and it's a great opportunity let's let's seize it the University of Virginia and the dart and School of Business shared insights on the leadership research and education necessary to build a renewable energy infrastructure Thomas Jefferson built the University a long time ago there are a lot of buildings already here some of them are not very energy efficient and in the course of growing University is attempting to take advantage of those existing buildings but upgrading them to be more effective for the for the educational enterprise and also more efficient every local community is different and each has different capacities and different constraints but by seeing specific examples from the Germans and from the Danish we saw where we might be able to apply such solutions to our local communities here in the United States you

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