The Governor joined delegation members in London to discuss continued bilateral collaboration between the UK and Illinois
On Wednesday, July 19, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois delegation concluded their mission to the United Kingdom.
Over the past several days, the Governor participated in discussions on bilateral collaborations in technology and higher education, meetings with business organizations to strengthen ties to Illinois, and announced the intent to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK to advance trade and economic development goals in Illinois.
The Governor hosted a “Clean Energy & Clean Technology” roundtable with Illinois and United Kingdom-based energy companies. At this meeting, the present parties signed an MOU intending to strengthen collaboration to create a net-zero energy future. Illinois has been a leader in the clean energy space and is the first state in the Midwest to require carbon free energy by 2050. The list of companies included in the MoU are Commonwealth Edison Company, Ameren Illinois Company, The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company, North Shore Gas Company, Northern Illinois Gas Company, National Grid plc, UK Power Networks, and Energy Networks Association.
Both the Illinois and UK-based companies promise to expand the use of sustainable technologies and renewable energy to support economic growth and the creation of jobs across both the United Kingdom and the State of Illinois. During this meeting, the Governor highlighted Illinois’ clean energy benefits to businesses looking to expand in the United States. Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act is devoting $180 million per year to workforce programming to build the clean energy workforce.
“Under the leadership of Governor Pritzker, Speaker Welch, and the General Assembly, Illinois is recognized as a national leader in the efforts to decarbonize the energy sector,” said Ameren Illinois Chairman and President Lenny Singh. “Ameren Illinois is proud to collaborate with the Governor, our utility colleagues, and our friends in the United Kingdom to accelerate this transition and bring the economic benefits to central and southern Illinois.”
“We are building a bright, sustainable future with a focus on providing customers affordable and reliable energy. Our research and investments in emerging clean energy technologies — including renewable natural gas and hydrogen — and our success significantly reducing leaks in old pipelines will help the state meet its climate goals while creating jobs and strengthening the economy,” said Torrence Hinton, president — Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. “On behalf of our customers and the dedicated men and women of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, I am pleased to sign this Memorandum of Understanding.”
“A move toward a sustainable future takes purposeful collaboration. That’s why today’s commitment is so important,” said President and CEO of Nicor Gas Wendell Dallas. “It brings collaboration with Governor Pritzker and our Illinois and United Kingdom energy sector colleagues to advance our shared goals of a reliable, resilient and affordable net zero future. The more we work together across the energy industry to foster innovation and advance clean energy technologies, the better the solutions for our customers and environment now and for generations to come.”
“As the largest utility company in the Midwest and proud energy provider to 9 million people in northern Illinois, ComEd plays a key role in enabling sustainable business development that creates jobs and investment for our communities,” said Gil C. Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. “With severe weather events and consumer demands changing rapidly, we know that the work to address climate change must happen quickly and will require all hands on deck. That’s why we’re proud to stand with our utility partners from across Illinois and in the UK on bilateral efforts to promote economic development, innovation and research that will help advance our shared goals for cleaner and more sustainable communities for the future.”
The Governor also met with major partners in the quantum computing space. Many of these members also met the day prior at an “Innovation and Technology” Roundtable at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in London. Illinois is home to more National Quantum Science Information centers than any other state and is one of the largest contributors to the National Quantum Initiative Act. Governor Pritzker’s administration is ensuring the future of quantum computing is centered in Illinois through a $200 million investment in the Chicago Quantum Exchange
Lastly, the Governor hosted the Delegation’s Farewell Dinner to mark the end of the 2023 UK Trade Mission with the Illinois Delegation. This trade mission’s goal was the strengthening of bilateral collaboration between the UK and Illinois. Highlights of the trip include the Goodwood Festival of Speed where the Governor discussed Illinois’ commitment to electric vehicles, discussions with business and education leaders on enhancing the economic cooperation between the UK and Illinois and initiating an MoU between the United Kingdom and Illinois.