At a large global exhibition and conference for the energy industry earlier this month, former energy secretary and EFI Foundation CEO Ernest Moniz was given the Leader of Change – Passionate Driver of Progress Award for his “outstanding leadership in driving responsible cross-sector action to secure a more sustainable energy future.”
Moniz was the first-ever recipient of this award—and it was one of eight given at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) on October 2, 2023. Moniz’s award was meant to spotlight an individual with “a proven track record of advocating game-changing partnerships and coordinating key stakeholders in the private sector, public sector, and NGOs to deliver credible energy transition strategies that have a truly global impact.” Other winners were individuals and companies from the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and Israel that have had an impact on the global energy transition.
In his award acceptance speech, Moniz recognized the leadership of President-Designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber for this year’s 28th Annual Conference of the Parties (COP28) on November 30 through December 12.
“It is particularly special to receive this award here in the U.A.E. in its year of COP28,” Moniz said, “which under the leadership of Dr. Sultan [Al Jaber], looks to set a new standard for pragmatism and results, bridging the needs of the developed world and the global south. This has been the dominant theme of what I’ve been doing for decades and … the objectives of COP28.”
ADIPEC released a video about Moniz’s accomplishments, which highlighted his important role negotiating the Paris Agreement.
“He was actually the person who was key to the whole thing,” said Madeline Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State for President Bill Clinton.
Others gave similar praise.
“Secretary Moniz definitely had rock star status,” U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said. “He was loved.”
The video featured recordings from Moniz underscoring that pragmatic global action in the coming decades will be key to the clean energy transition’s success.
“It’s not good enough for us to talk about how great it is going to be in 2050 or 2060,” Moniz said. “We have to talk about how we are going to get there.”
Moniz also said that the world is on a trajectory to begin to make and meet climate goals. The focus will need to be on how to balance climate goals with other regional priorities and ensure that the energy transition benefits communities.
“From the Paris Agreement, there’s no going back. We’re going to a low-carbon future,” Moniz said. “It’s not about apathy. It’s about addressing the real needs of people, workers, communities, and regions to see that low-carbon future as one in which they and their families can participate very, very healthily.”
On the sidelines of ADIPEC, Moniz also spoke to Channel NewsAsia about the carbon capture and storage technology and the pacing of energy infrastructure construction in the United States. Go to our In the News page to watch the interview.
–Georgia Lyon, Communications Associate
(Share this post with others.)