Former California State Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg Elected to China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance Board of Directors

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On May 4, Robert M. Hertzberg was elected to its Board of Directors. Mr. Hertzberg is a former Speaker of the California State Assembly and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Office of Mayer Brown, LLP and Managing Director of Pacific Capital Group. Mr. Hertzberg was also recently re-elected as Chairman of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. The Alliance is a California-based nonprofit organization committed to protecting the global environment by working with China to promote energy efficiency as the cleanest and least expensive energy resource in China. Founded in 2004, the Alliance partners with experts from government, business, and the nonprofit sector to advance practical and concrete efficiency solutions that have a proven record of environmental and economic success. Mr. Hertzberg is a visionary leader, and his experience in both the public and private sectors in California and around the globe will be a great asset to the Alliance providing unique insights for guiding our work and building additional partnerships with energy efficiency leaders and experts.

The China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance is honored to announce that, on May 4, Robert M. Hertzberg was elected to its Board of Directors. “In both public service and private enterprise, Bob Hertzberg has been a visionary leader and committed advocate for practical solutions to energy and environmental challenges,” said Gene Rodrigues, director of Efficiency at Southern California Edison and Alliance board member. “By having Bob join us on the China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance Board, we have greatly strengthened our collective ability to advance the development of energy efficiency in China as a necessary step on the path to global environmental improvement.”

Mr. Hertzberg is a former Speaker of the California State Assembly and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Office of Mayer Brown, LLP and Managing Director of Pacific Capital Group. Mr. Hertzberg was also recently re-elected as Chairman of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

The Alliance is a California-based nonprofit organization committed to protecting the global environment by working with China to promote energy efficiency as the cleanest and least expensive energy resource in China. Founded in 2004, the Alliance partners with experts from government, business, and the nonprofit sector to advance practical and concrete efficiency solutions that have a proven record of environmental and economic success.

“Greening China’s energy system is crucial to the global economy as well as the global environment,” Hertzberg said, “and energy efficiency must take a leading role in that process. The China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance has worked with businesses, government, and the nonprofit sector to bring world-class efficiency policies and technologies to China. As China realizes the value of efficiency as a critical energy resource, the Alliance’s common-sense approach will continue to save resources and reduce pollution in both China and the US.”    

The China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance supported China's first large-scale energy efficiency incentive program, which was located in Jiangsu Province, a highly industrialized area on China’s east coast. In the first three years of this program, Jiangsu avoided the need to build 300 megawatts of new power capacity, according to sources at China’s State Grid Power Demand Side Management Instruction Center in Nanjing. The Jiangsu program is now saving 3.5 terawatt-hours of electricity—enough to power 3.3 million Chinese households—and preventing 3.4 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. The efficiency program achieved this success at one-third the cost of meeting electricity demand with new power plants, the sources said.

Following the success of Jiangsu’s efficiency pilot—which was commended as a national model by Premier Wen Jiabao—the Alliance has signed agreements to support efficiency programs in several additional provinces and municipalities.

The Alliance has worked for half a decade advocating in favor of a role for grid companies in China's energy efficiency policies. In November 2010, the government issued a decision to require utility-funded energy efficiency programs throughout China. This mandate is a step toward achieving goals set by the central government in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), which aims to cut energy consumption per unit of GDP by 16% and CO2 emission per unit of GDP by 17%. By 2020 the country plans to reduce CO2 intensity to 40% below a 2005 baseline.

Mr. Hertzberg’s experience in both the public and private sectors, and his work in California and around the globe, will be a great asset to the Alliance providing unique insights for guiding our work and building partnerships with energy efficiency leaders and experts.

Since completing his term as Speaker of the State Assembly, Mr. Hertzberg’s business ventures have emphasized international clean energy projects such as efficiency, renewable generation, and green logistics. He is a Director and Co-Founder of G24 Innovations (G24i) based in Cardiff, Wales with offices in China. G24i manufactures a new type of lightweight and flexible solar cell that generates power in low, ambient and even indoor conditions. Mr. Hertzberg’s work with G24i has led to numerous awards; the Guardian UK named him to their 2008 list of “50 people who could save the planet.”

Mr. Hertzberg chaired the transition team for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and served on the transition team of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition to sitting on the Alliance Board, he serves on the Boards of a number of nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. Among other awards and accolades, the Los Angeles Times recognized him as “One of the Most Influential People in Southern California.”

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