During his recent trip to California, EPA Administrator Michael Regan met with leading Silicon Valley executives to discuss how innovation and emerging technologies can be leveraged to tackle the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon economy. The visit included a tour of the manufacturing facility at Zoox, an autonomous vehicle company based in Foster City, and roundtable discussion with C-suite executives organized by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Administrator Regan’s visit comes on the heels of the latest IPCC report which offered a stark warning if we fail to move quickly to curb carbon emissions. Here in California, some of those dire impacts are already being felt in the form of severe and prolonged droughts, catastrophic wildfires, and rising sea levels threatening coastal communities.
During his visit, Administrator Regan struck a clear-eyed tone that acknowledged the scope of the environmental challenges that lay ahead, but expressed confidence that Silicon Valley innovation will unlock new economic opportunities as the market for clean technology and net zero energy is poised for incremental growth.
Administrator Regan expressed his enthusiasm about how California companies are leading the way with an exciting vision of green mobility. “Hats off to Zoox for an exciting facility tour and a sneak peak at the future of autonomous and electric vehicles.”
Bert Kaufman, Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Zoox added: “Zoox has designed our vehicles and our business ecosystem with sustainability in mind because we’re committed to transforming the mobility landscape as a whole. The Zoox team was proud to host Administrator Regan and our peers in Silicon Valley for a timely conversation about how we can tap into the power of innovation and technology to preserve our planet and its precious natural resources.”
Building on a strong foundation of climate advocacy, SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas noted that Silicon Valley companies view climate and the environment as integral to business competitiveness, a core theme of SVLG’s work.
“Silicon Valley is known for developing next-generation solutions to address the world’s most pressing challenges, and chief among them is the climate crisis,” said Thomas. “We’re honored to host EPA Administrator Michael Regan for his first official visit to Silicon Valley to showcase how innovative companies like Zoox, under the impressive leadership of CEO Aicha Evans, are at the vanguard of promoting clean and advanced mobility solutions to tackle the climate crisis and create more resilient communities.”
Administrator Regan’s visit with SVLG follows a virtual fireside conversation with Thomas about environmental justice during SVLG’s recent sustainability conference, “Race to Net Zero,” which also featured keynote remarks from Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy. Videos from the summit are available here.