At the founding conference for IRENA, pv magazine spoke with Michael Eckhart, chairman of the WCRE and president and founder of ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy) about how the agency should be organized and what it will take to get the United States on board. 1 March 2009.
You wrote Hillary Clinton the day she took office. Has there been any response?
Yes, they decided that the person they were sending to IRENA on the second day was now going to be there on the first day. That sounds small, but it’s huge.
What needs to happen for the U.S. to join?
First, someone within the government has to make a proposal to join. Under the Bush administration, no one would. I think the Obama administration will, but that’s not going to happen overnight. But they did change the U.S. position in just a few days. Clinton has been in office since Tuesday, January 20, and the decision to send someone to the founding conference for IRENA on the first day was made that week - probably the same day that Clinton took office. That’s amazing, considering that she is clearly working on Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Israel, and so forth.
To read the full interview, please click here.