By Jasmin Melvin and Alina Selyukh (Reuters) -
The United States and dozens of other countries have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars toward clean energy initiatives to help battle climate change, U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu said on Tuesday.
Meeting in Washington, D.C., for a two-day conference, delegations from 24 countries representing 80 percent of global energy consumption promised 11 initiatives that would mean building fewer power plants and using more clean energy.
"We know the clean energy challenge won't wait, and we won't wait either," Chu said.
With the U.S. Senate virtually gridlocked on passing an energy and climate change package this year, the Obama administration is under pressure to provide leadership in global climate talks that are making little progress.
The countries pledged to improve energy efficiency in appliances and buildings, accelerate deployment of smart grid technology and electric vehicles, and help developing countries embrace low-carbon technologies.
These initiatives "will save enough energy in the next 20 years to equal the output of 500 medium-sized power plants," Chu said.
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