Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Inter-American Development Bank
April 15, 2010
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, Luis Alberto, and to everyone here at IDB. Thank you for hosting this important gathering. And I am delighted to see so many friends in the audience representing not only the important work that we talk about today, but the partnership across our hemisphere. And I know that Secretary Chu spoke with you this morning and someone’s already told me that he was the funniest physicist you’ve ever heard from. (Laughter.) And I have to agree, probably the funniest Nobel Prize Laureate as well.
But I think that his presence this morning, mine here today, really gives you, I hope, the strong message as to how committed the Obama Administration and I personally am, as well as Secretary Chu, to this initiative. And I want to thank Secretary General Insulza and OAS for their cooperation and participation on so many fronts, because we feel that we are at a point of such great promise here in the hemisphere. Energy innovation is happening all over. We see it. But it is not yet at the scale that it needs to be.
Millions of people in Brazil traveled to work and school today in vehicles fueled by ethanol. In Costa Rica, a country working to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country, shops, households, hospitals are running on electricity generated from renewable sources. In Mexico, a cement corporation is powered by Latin America’s largest wind farm. In Chile, the construction of a solar farm is underway in the desert. And a clean energy technology network is being developed across the region, linking centers in Peru, El Salvador, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil. And Trinidad and Tobago have announced that they will also build a center.
So this is happening in our hemisphere. Governments and businesses are investing in new technologies and new sources of energy. And these efforts do have global significance. But we have to use our own creativity and our commitment to bring these efforts to scale. We need sustainable and, yes, profitable solutions that bring more and more dollars into the marketplace. And we have a chance to do that – to create not only progress on energy innovation that will save people money, that will use indigenous sources of energy, but which will also help us fight climate change.