The Providence Journal – Opinion/Rothstein and Sakellaris: Five Steps to Creating a Stronger, Greener RI

Peter Rothstein is president of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. George Sakellaris is president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of directors of Ameresco Inc. 

The parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are striking: Both present dangers to our lives, threaten to disrupt our economy, and disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. But the pandemic has also shown we can respond quickly when such a crisis arises and underscored the urgent need to take aggressive action on climate change now.

Fortunately, the Northeast is on the path to real progress thanks to states like Rhode Island. By targeting emissions reductions through energy efficiency and tapping renewable energy resources, we can reduce pollution, gain independence from outside sources of fuel, and turn our states into economic engines by creating thousands of local jobs.

At the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC), our 200 member companies are already doing the important work required to accelerate the clean energy transition. Ameresco, a leading clean-tech integrator and renewable energy asset developer, owner and operator with projects across Rhode Island, is one of those members. In 2020 alone, Ameresco’s renewable energy assets and customer projects delivered a carbon offset equivalent to 12.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Ameresco published its 2020 Environmental Social and Governance report themed “Doing Well by Doing Good,” a nod to the economic and environmental benefits associated with the business of clean energy.

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