Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, California’s representative for International Affairs and Trade Development, announced today that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Government of the State of California have entered into an agreement regarding zero emission vehicles and other key issues.
The memorandum of understanding, signed today, will expand opportunities for cooperation between California and JBIC in the fields of environmental protection, clean mobility, energy production and storage, energy efficiency codes and standards, water, logistics and smart cities.
Upon signing the MOU, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis said, “We are on track, and more committed than ever, to meet our goal of powering our state with 100% carbon-free electricity and achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. This agreement will enable us to step up our collaboration, and we look forward to working with Japan and with JBIC to make this vision a reality.”
Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to Governor Newsom and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), also signed the MOU, sharing, “California is known the world over for our unparalleled innovation, the diversity of our people, our world-class higher-education system, our unrelenting spirit of entrepreneurism, and our history of global leadership. We look forward to working with JBIC as we continue to enhance our relationship with our Japanese partners – encouraging a collaboration that will lead to economic prosperity that uplifts all of our communities.”
Eleni Kounalakis is the 50th lieutenant governor of California and the first woman elected to the position. From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom designated Kounalakis as his Representative for International Affairs and Trade Development, and as Chair of the corresponding Interagency Committee that oversees the state’s trade, investment and international relations. Kounalakis is also Chair of the three-member State Lands Commission, and a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents, the California State University Board of Trustees, and the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.