Last week I attended the 2nd Annual Women in Green Conference, held at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica, CA. One of the most compelling sessions was titled: “A Look Ahead: The Challenges and Opportunities of Financing Clean Technologies and Green Energy.” The session focused on the substantial wealth creation opportunities presented by climate change, primarily in distribution networks and energy generation.
Two other presentations, one a keynote speech by Wahleah Johns from the Black Mesa Water Coalition, and the other a screening of the film “The Right to Breathe” hosted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, focused on the localized pollution created by energy use and transportation within the city of Los Angeles. Both presentations discussed the significant negative health repercussions from escalating energy use and heavy commuting in the city, which are felt by residents the city of LA itself but also by the communities in California and neighboring states from which LA draws its water and power.
Other topics of interest included “smart” grid technology, and the need for feedback loops to provide real-time feedback to businesses and citizens about the details of their energy and water consumption.
Many speakers echoed the sentiment that it was inspirational to have so many ambitious and passionate environmental professionals together in one room, and to have the opportunity to network with other women (and a few men!) who have made substantial contributions to advance sustainability.