IEDC sponsoring Bloomberg climate talk at COP28

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Andrea Richter-Garry, senior vice president of global strategy and engagement at the Indiana Economic Development Corp., speaks with Bloomberg Media's Amit Nayak at the COP28 Summit in Dubai, Dec. 4, 2023. (Photo courtesy of IEDC)

As global leaders gather in Dubai for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, Indiana’s economic development officials say the state is poised to play a pivotal role in the clean energy transition.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp., the state’s public-private job creation agency, is one of seven sponsors of a two-day event hosted by Bloomberg, which is happening against the backdrop of COP28.

Bloomberg Green at COP28, which kicked off Monday, will “create an immersive experience designed to go beyond the negotiating rooms and delve into pragmatic strategies for cross-sector climate action,” according to the event website.

Other sponsors include First Abu Dhabi Bank, McKinsey Sustainability and The Climate Pledge.

“If you look at Indiana, where actually 25% of the U.S. steel is made in Indiana, it’s an economic engine, it’s a driver,” said Andrea Richter-Garry, the IEDC Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Engagement, during a talk Monday. “So what do you need to make solar? You need racking. What do you need to make electric vehicles? Steel and other metal components. For wind turbines, it’s concrete , it’s cement. It’s these petioles that are really going to be the underpinnings of the energy transition. And it’s not hypothetical … we are poised to manufacture the energy transition and we are poised to do it now.

Salena Scardina, executive vice president of external engagement at the IEDC, is scheduled to deliver a presentation Tuesday, where she will discuss Indiana’s plan for “a green economy for the bold.”

Billboards display the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s new branding campaign at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai (photo courtesy of the IEDC).

An IEDC official said the sponsorship builds on momentum started by Gov. Eric Holcomb and former Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, both of whom attended COP27 in Egypt in 2022 to tout the state’s green energy investments.

“Indiana’s ability to attract transformational deals is contingent upon being able to generate clean and reliable energy,” IEDC Deputy Chief of Staff Erin Sweitzer said in a statement to IBJ. “At COP28, we’ll engage with global thought leaders, and we’ll also meet with many of our companies who are pursuing their own goals. It is important to have a state perspective represented as this is where many pragmatic actions occur in this space.”

The cost of the sponsorship, which gives the IEDC access to the event for networking and meetings with industry leaders and executives in the energy space, was $600,000, Sweitzer said.

The trip comes as the IEDC looks to recruit clean energy companies to the LEAP District, a 9,000-acre advanced manufacturing park in Boone County. Eli Lilly and Co. is building two manufacturing sites there, and maps of  the district indicate areas where wind and solar projects could be located. LEAP stands for Limitless Exploration/Advanced Pace.

While the state is seeing significant investments in solar energy—including a $1.5 billion, 13,000-acre solar farm in northwest Indiana, expected to be the largest solar energy operation in the country—the state still relies on coal for half of its energy needs and is the Midwest’s biggest emitter of carbon per capita. It ranks eighth in the country in carbon emissions per capita, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Indiana also recently phased out its solar net metering program, which required utilities to pay consumers the retail rate for electricity that their solar panels contribute to the energy grid. Clean energy advocates say the changes discourage residential solar energy usage and make Indiana less competitive with other states looking to recruit solar companies.

At COP21 in 2015, participating countries agreed to limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050. Climate scientists project emissions must be halved by 2030 to achieve that goal.

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5 thoughts on “IEDC sponsoring Bloomberg climate talk at COP28

  1. So, my human climate change question is this. Indiana was once covered completely by the Wisconsin Glacier. Ice covered the landscape for millions of years. How did humans’ effect this change in climate to what we have today? Why do some believe that the microscopic change in weather we have seen over the past 100 years can be changed by human behavior today? Is climate changing? Probably. Has it always been evolving? Probably. Yes, this whole thing is a political farce.

    1. *bzzzt* wrong. Those glaciers took tens of thousands of years to form and melt. The fact that the average global temperature has risen so quickly is what is alarming, it is significantly faster than anything that has occurred naturally within the geological record. Good try on your fake crazy conspiracy theory, though. Keep gobbling up that Fox News propaganda like a good follower.

  2. Gee. I think I’ll trust the scientists who have made this their life’s work reinforced by the obvious extreme changes in our world, including the record shattering forest fires in California and in Canada that we felt all the way in Indiana, melting glaciers, polar bears losing their habitat, 100-yr floods coming every few years, extreme storms, hottest years on record, melting permafrost, on and on. How you can turn a blind eye is infuriating. We know that fossil fuels are not good for the environment or for our health. There’s no question about it – not even from the fossil fuel corporations – just read their own reports about what they knew and kept from us for decades. For everyone’s sake, for countless reasons, we need to segue to renewables. Why you are willing to gamble with your future and that of your children is selfish and the bane of our world, which is so steeped in denial and ignorant social media siloes that you miss the obvious in front of your nose. I feel like the person in the painting ‘The Scream’. The truth is screaming at you and still you turn a deaf ear. What an ignorant lot we are in this state, which is one of the most polluted in the country BTW – heedlessly costing health and lives.

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