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Angela Barranco, North America Executive Director on stage at US Climate Action Summit 2023

Live: US Climate Action Summit

24 April 2024, 13:42 UTC 5 min read

Climate Group

Check out the latest perspectives and insights from the day through our On-Location Interview series. 

Our panel in the second part of the day at the US Climate Action Summit
Our final panel session on Think Globally. Act Locally.
Jason Salzetti on stage with Angela Barranco
Jason Salzetti on stage with Angela Barranco


Jahi Wise, Environmental Protection Agency, shared a statement on the dawn of a community-led clean economy: “When I hear climate, I think jobs”. 

Stay tuned for his interview with our team right afterwards.



Mark Rayfield, President & CEO, Saint-Gobain North America and CertainTeed, LLC exclaimed: “Everything doesn’t have to be moonshot... the technology exists today to build more sustainably”



Elizabeth Gray, Chief Executive Officer, National Audubon Society said: “As you know, a lot of the time we see local opposition to clean energy infrastructure projects. Audubon is really supportive of using Bloomington as an area for offshore wind because it will have the least amount of impact on migratory births”



Jason Salzetti, Principal, US Government & Public Services (GPS) Industry & Consulting Leader, Deloitte Consulting, on climate impact in public service: “When we look at climate, we must look at it as a whole government challenge and really bring together sustainability, climate resilience and equity”


Jason Salzettii's quote card
Ali Zaidi opening the afternoon at the US Climate Action Summit
Ali Zaidi opens the afternoon sessions.


Ali Zaidi kicked off stating how integral jobs in climate are for our economy: 

“Green jobs are blue collar jobs first and foremost”.



In the afternoon at the US Climate Action Summit, we focused on "Think Globally. Act Locally”. 

The pivotal role of state and local governments along with the business sector in leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act for climate adaptation and resilience.


"Everyone needs to come together to achieve those goals" - Laurel Blatchford summarises the discussions from her panel.


That wrapped our first session on Public-Private Synergy. 

Read on for our highlights from the second part of the day, as well as photography and our one to one interviews.


Secretary McIlwain joined us for an interview to talk about their focuses as a state, particularly on transport and buildings
The full panel on accelerating Decarbonization Through Innovation and Policy
The full panel on accelerating decarbonization through innovation and policy



Speaking on the same panel, Saji Sam, Senior Partner, Energy and Natural Resources, Oliver Wyman talked about the business opportunities, cost reductions and customer benefits of shifting to a circular economy.

He said "Decarbonization through the energy transition, and low energy efficiency addresses about 25% of GHG emissions. Remaining emissions still need to be addressed. The shift towards a circular economy requires the industry to have a paradigm shift of thinking."



Matthew Hegelson, Head of Sustainability at Siemens, began his panel talking about using public-private partnerships to leverage sustainable development, highlighting a specific success story having rolled out EVs with USPS.

"That kind of partnership contributes to things like our commitment to manufacture a million EV chargers in the US. It's a real time example of a partnership that is the way to look at impact, of course on the transportation sector, and also for our business as well."



Next we had Dr. Kathleen Hogan join us for a special announcement from the Department of Energy.

Dr. Hogan announced that the clean energy rule for federal building has now been mandated, which will phase out all fossil fuel use in new federal building construction by 2030.

With 'making it real' a key strapline for the day, we were delighted to have such an important policy success announced at the summit.



John Podesta and Carol Browner open the US Climate Action Summit
John Podesta and Carol Browner open the US Climate Action Summit


Moderating the conversation, our Event Partner Covington's own Carol Browner said "Agencies need to work together, including the Department of Treasury and Transportion, to really affect the change that the IRA envisions."



We began with a one-on-one conversation with the newly appointed climate envoy, John Podesta.

Podesta spoke on the clean industrial revolution, highlighting the $400bn invested in the sector, the 150 new factories announced, and the record EV adoption in the US last year.



Our morning session took advantage of having both government and business leaders present to discuss climate solutions through public-private sector synergy.


But first, listen to Clay Clarke from the state of Colorado on how models from their own successes can be replicated across state and federal level.


We're now well underway, and we're hoping to bring you insights from the first of our Spotlight Sessions, which featured Covington's Carol Browner speaking with John Podesta Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Infrastructure, Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Jigar Shah, Director, Loan Program, Department of Energy.

We'll also bring you the rundown from the panel "Accelerating Decarbonization Through Innovation and Policy."


Watch as Kelly Visconti tells us what we need to see from business and governments to accelerate the upskilling required to reach the required transition.
Watch Jetta Wong on how policy is used to overcome climate solutions in construction.


Coming shortly, we've got two interviews from speakers following their roundtables:

  • Jetta Wong, Senior Advisor on Climate, GSA (Federal)
  • Kelly Visconti, Acting Deputy Director, Manufacturing and Workforce Development, Department of Energy



Later, we'll be hearing from Karthik Ramanna, Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Oxford, on "Guiding Governance: Enhancing Climate Standard Setting with Oxford Insights."

Professor Ramanna has written a report, titled Governance Playbook for Climate Standard-Setting. Drawing on insights from discussions with key stakeholders such as activists, funders, investors, and board members. The report presents a playbook of best practices aimed at improving strategic clarity and procedural legitimacy in climate standard-setting.

Ahead of the talk, why not read the full report from Professor Ramanna. 


"This year it's crunch time" Adam Lake talks about what progress has been made since last year and what he wants to see come out of this year's event.


The day's action is kicking off shortly - and we're delighted to be bringing you the first interview of the day soon from our own Adam Lake. 



In terms of our agenda, we've got a packed range of discussions, including panel sessions and fireside chats, which we'll be sharing insights from with you right here. You can also watch some of our one-on-one interviews with our media team right here and across our socials.

We're also hosting some closed-door roundtables, which is where we convene climate leaders to discuss both the barriers and the solutions to accelerating climate action to the rate we need. 

These roundtables include:

  • Workforce and the Energy Transition hosted by Deloitte
  • Unlocking Bilateral Transmission in the Northeast hosted by Hydro-Quebec
  • The New Frontier: Emerging Technologies & Catalyzing Industrial Decarbonization 



So, who can you expect to hear from today? 

Well we're delighted to be hosting a range of climate leaders from across business, government, and civil society. Some of the speakers we're looking forward to hearing from today are:

  • John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy for the White House
  • Secretary Serena McIlwain from the Maryland Department of the Environment
  • Jigar Shah, Director, Loan Program, Department of Energy
  • Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture 
  • Laurel Blatchford, Chief Implementation Officer for the Inflation Reduction Act, U.S. Department of Treasury 
  • Ali Zaidi, Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor 

We're also looking forward to a special message from the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees later today.


Relive last year when John Podesta joined us on stage for the discussion "what matters now" US Climate Action Summit 2023.


Before we begin, some people might be wondering - what is the US Climate Action Summit?

Well, the US Climate Action Summit, taking place during April 22-28, 2024, is the most influential convening of climate leaders from the business, government, and non-profit sectors, coming together in Washington DC to tackle the roadblocks to taking effective climate action.  



Welcome to the live blog of the US Climate Action Summit, where we'll be helping you follow along with the event as it unfolds. 

Make sure to stay tuned for the latest insights, including one-on-one interviews with our speakers, key quotes, and reports from our partners. We'll also be sharing our photography throughout the day, so you can get a taste of the action on the ground.