ABU DHABI – Tuesday Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris addressed the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the subject of Transforming Cities: Establishing Sustainable Communities.
Parris was invited to address the summit by top government officials of Abu Dhabi.
Parris’ presentation included a call to arms to begin transforming cities and communities into “net-zero” cities through renewable energy initiatives, particularly solar energy. A net-zero city is one which produces at least as much clean, renewable energy as it consumes.
The Mayor focused on Lancaster as a model for other cities to follow in this quest.
“Lancaster is not just talking about becoming a net-zero city, we have actually put projects and programs in place that have us well on our way towards this important future,” stated Parris as he addressed an international audience of government, industry, and academic leaders.
During his address, the Mayor highlighted the Antelope Valley’s innovative spirit as the world leader in flight test and design as the reason the region is now leading cities into an age of affordable and profitable renewable energy.
“We told the story of the development of eSolar, our partnership with KB Home and BYD in developing the first net-zero home in the U.S., our many ongoing solar generation projects, as well as partnerships with local schools, businesses, and residents to illustrate just how far we have come,” said Parris. “We then challenged other cities to join us and the Beautiful Earth Group in becoming net-zero cities.”
World Bank executive, Rutu Dave, used Lancaster as a model of a city that has not only built sustainable energy projects, but has done so swiftly and in a way that saves both costs and energy.
At the end of the presentation, moderator Peter Sharratt, Managing Partner of Deloitte LLP UK, invited Parris to elaborate on what other cities around the world can do to be more like Lancaster in pursuing renewable energy.
In response, Parris said, “We are honored and humbled to provide a roadmap for others to follow. We can only truly be successful on a larger scale by diligently working together and collectively learning from our successes and failures. Lancaster has made this commitment and we invite and urge others to join us.”
(Information via press release from the City of Lancaster.)