Nissan Renault join Schwarzenegger's R20 for Vienna Conference
What you may not know is the strictest emissions laws in the nation were passed in California and that it was Gov. Schwarzenegger that championed them, getting the most far-reaching legislation regarding climatic change activated anywhere.
It wasn’t the democratic efforts of Al Gore whose Alliance for Climate Protection and other efforts won him a Nobel Peace Prize, and it wasn’t Barrack Obama who has championed new CAFE standards to clean the air.
It was the former star of stage, screen and the California Legislature’s Republican Governor that got the most progressive action on climate change enacted. In fact, The Atlantic states in an article that if America ever passes significant climate change legislation, we will all owe former Governor Schwarzenegger for his role in the process.
The organization’s website boldly issues the following call to action on its welcome page: “The technology to reduce energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions is here. The opportunity to strengthen local economies, improve public health and create new green jobs is real.”
The R20’s second international event is slated for Jan 31 and Feb. 1 in Vienna, focused on the theme of Implementing the Sustainable Energy Future, comprised of a series of forums and presentations, featuring environmental specialists from both Renault and Nissan, Dr. Philippe Schulz, Renault’s Leader of Environment, Energy and Raw Materials along with Olivier Paturet, General Manager of Nissan Europe's Zero Emission Strategy, will occupy forum panels.
R20’s laudable and ambitious mission statement reads: “To help states, provinces, regions and other sub-national governments around the world develop, implement and communicate low-carbon and climate-resilient economic development projects, policies and best practices.”
Governor Schwarzenegger signed the pioneering climate-change and clean-energy law known as AB32, into law in 2006. At its focus rests a hard-hitting cap-and-trade program and controversial market-based system to cap emissions of fossil-fuel based pollution and create a market in which polluters and other players can buy and sell carbon-pollution credits.
The new law went into effect as 2013 began and the world is watching to see the fallout or fulfillment of its promise. If the measure works in California without undermining the fragile economy, it may well serve as a model for the rest of the nation and eventually the world.
In related news, Schwarzenegger was presented the U.N. Correspondents Association's Global Advocate of the Year Award by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Dec. 19.
Dr. Schulz will present the Alliance's view of the Energy Mix of the Future while Mr. Paturet will discuss Technologies for a Smart Future.
Outside the conference hall, the Alliance will provide a fleet of zero-emission electric vehicles for conference attendees to experience. These will include the Nissan LEAF, the Renault Fluence ZE and Renault Kangoo ZE.
Among R20’s current projects are renewable energy generation, waste management and fuel-switching programs in Mexico, Morocco, China and Brazil.
Like R20, the Alliance believes now is the time to tackle climate change, and that each day lost increases the costs of stabilizing greenhouse gasses and the consequent interference with climatic conditions.
Other EVs produced by the Alliance include the Twizy tandem two-seater and Kangoo ZE combi van from Renault.
A compact city hatchback, Renault Zoe, will soon be launched across Europe, while other models to come include the Nissan e-NV200 LCV, first available as a people carrier and light commercial van, and a luxury EV from Infiniti.
Together, Renault and Nissan have sold more than 70,000 electric vehicles around the world since the group's first EV – Nissan LEAF – went on sale in December 2010.
There may be hope for the environment yet, but don’t hold your breathe. On the other hand, if you must breathe don’t overdo it.