January 11, 2011
An Essential Pathway to Sustainability: Energy Efficiency
the Environmental Law Institute and
ABA SEER Climate Change, Sustainable
Development, and Ecosystems Committee
Energy is fundamental to economic growth, but it is also the primary cause of air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions, and a significant cause of land and water degradation. Increasing energy use threatens sustainability. Over the next few decades, greater energy efficiency will be the key to obtaining energy services while avoiding further environmental costs. While the supply system will need decades to become carbon neutral, energy efficiency with current technology can go a long way toward reducing emissions now. Three expert speakers discussed the potential for energy efficiency in terms of economics, barriers to implementation, current and emerging technologies, and law.
Often referred to as the "godfather" of energy efficiency, Arthur Rosenfeld founded the Center for Building Science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The "Rosenfeld Effect" describes California’s relatively unchanged per-capita energy use since 1973, the result of energy efficiency.
Danny Harvey is a Full Professor in the Department of Geography, University of Toronto, author of many leading works on energy efficiency, and Lead Author for Working Group III of the upcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
Gene Rodrigues oversees Southern California Edison’s portfolio of Energy Efficiency, Low Income Energy Efficiency, Low Income Rate Assistance, California Solar Initiative and Self Generation Incentive programs. He serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.
John C. Dernbach, Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg, PA
Mark Levine, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
Danny Harvey, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Gene Rodrigues, Southern California Edison, Irwindale, CA
Arthur Rosenfeld, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA