White House advisor headlines national congress on community energy

MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday 15 December 2016

Key advisor to United States President Barack Obama on climate policy Candace Vahlsing* will headline next year’s Community Energy Congress in Melbourne, organisers revealed today.

Ms Vahlsing was this year named among the world’s 10 rising stars on climate and energy policy having driven landmark change under Mr Obama’s environmental agenda as a senior advisor at the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.

Since 2006, the policy analyst has overseen a series of new laws to slash pollution by increasing clean energy projects. Her cutting-edge initiatives included: creating a community energy partnership between California’s government and residents that helps cities, public hospitals and public facilities save money and energy; and significantly increasing access to solar power by low- and moderate-income households across the US through the Clean Energy Savings for All program.

The Community Energy Congress brings together both international and local community energy experts, who will share their experiences and expertise with up to 800 attendees from all over Australia who want to create and run their own clean energy projects.

As a keynote speaker, Ms Vahlsing will reveal how she navigated challenging political and industry landscapes to introduce these cornerstone community energy initiatives. She will complement another headline Congress speaker, Denmark’s Soren Hermansen, who has hands-on experience in developing community energy projects.

Community Energy Congress coordinator Nicky Ison said she was delighted to have Ms Vahlsing join what was already an exciting line-up of speakers.

“Energy justice is a big focus of this event and the wider community energy sector. If we are to have a truly just transition to clean energy we need initiatives like those championed by Candace to ensure everyone can participate and benefit from clean, renewable energy technologies,” Ms Ison said.

“We hope Australian energy policy makers will be inspired by what she has to say at the 2017 Community Energy Congress.”

The Community Energy Congress is in Melbourne from February 27-28, 2017. All are welcome. To find out more and register go to: c4ce.net.au/congress

Media inquiries: Jay Smiles on 0468 914 627 or jay@climatemediacentre.org.au or Dinah Arndt on 0425 791 394 or dinah@climatemediacentre.org.au 

* Ms Vahlsing’s appointment at the White House will end with the Obama administration; as such she will be attending the Community Energy Congress in a personal capacity.

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