Former U.S. VP addresses inaugural green energy conference
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, a noted environmental activist and advocate for international renewable energy practices, was the keynote speaker at “Aruba Goes Green: Our Future with Green Energy” conference earlier this month, the island’s first-ever summit highlighting clean energy as it pertains to the government agenda.
Gore, a Nobel Peace laureate, addressed attendees on the first night of the three-day conference, which also included lectures from energy and environmental experts from General Electric, NASA and other international organizations. Aruban government officials were also on hand, including Prime Minister Mike Eman and Minister of Finance, Communication, Utilities and Energy Mike de Meza, who also served as host to the conference, which was held at the Renaissance Convention Center.
Aruba’s government has been cited recently for is ambitious green agenda as it seeks to be a leading force in the Caribbean’s renewable energy movement. Eman was lauded at the conference for furthering his public commitment to green energy practices in Aruba, including plans for a government-sanctioned research and education center for renewable energy.
According to a media advisory from the Dutch Embassy, Aruba’s climate offers an ideal environment for harvesting renewable energy, including high solar radiation levels and wind regimes that are optimal for testing to solar and wind power. Aruba recently built a 30 megawatt wind farm, which the advisory states can “meet 18 percent of the island’s energy demand, one of the highest rates of renewable energy in the Caribbean.”
“I would hope the world would follow Aruba’s lead,” Gore said in his address, referencing the island’s commitment to green energy. “What Aruba is planning is exactly what the world needs.”
Gore’s address was largely praised by attendees, with Rosalie Klein of Aruba’s The Morning News observing he “mesmerized [the] audience of hundreds with his message.”
Gore was brought to the event to show support for steps that Aruba is taking to develop green energy. His endorsement for Aruba’s initiative gives international credibility and prestige to their work and places the country’s effort among the elite renewable energy programs in the Caribbean.
Considered an international authority on sustainability, Gore has dedicated himself to educating people about the threat of global warming since his early days in congress. Because of his vast knowledge of sustainability, he is one of the most sought after speakers on the issue. This made him the ideal choice for addressing the conference and sharing his insights. With a similar stance on the subject of green energy, Gore and the government of Aruba were a perfect paring for the event. Both sides believe that renewable green energy will not only protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions, but will also have a positive long-term impact on economies throughout the world.
The conference was followed by a two-day trade show on green energy, which was open to the public on October 2 and 3 at the Renaissance Convention Center.