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U.S. Shows Strong Leadership and Participation at the COPANT General Assembly in Brazil

The Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) held its annual General Assembly (GA) on May, 6-11, 2012, in Fortaleza, Brazil. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) president and CEO and COPANT vice president S. Joe Bhatia led a strong U.S. presence, including a 13-member delegation headed by ANSI vice president Gary W. Kushnier and bolstered by the participation of Gene Eckhart of NEMA, chair of the ANSI Regional Standing Committee-Americas (RSC-A). Representatives of U.S. public- and private-sector standardization organizations made significant contributions alongside other COPANT member delegations in a productive meeting hosted by the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT), Brazil's national standards body.

COPANT members reviewed and commented on the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, as well as the Mutual Cooperation and Regional Cooperation projects. The ANSI delegation noted the increasing number of significant forward-thinking COPANT actions that have been proposed to improve COPANT effectiveness as an association. ANSI members can access presentations and related documents here.

A report was also presented on the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) project on Infrastructure Services for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Latin America and the Carribbean, an initiative approved by the COPANT Board of Directors at the May 2011 GA. A planning meeting for a PTB workshop was conducted in November 2011 to establish the scope and project outline. Participating organizations included COPANT, PTB, the InterAmerican Metrology System (SIM), the InterAmerican Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC), and the Organisation of American States (OAS). They agreed to commence work in four areas: renewable energy - solar thermal; smart grids; energy efficiency - appliances; and transversal issues. COPANT affirmed its intent to actively participate in all planning and project implementation, and stressed that all COPANT members from Latin America and the Caribbean should be considered as beneficiaries and participants in all project activities.

Three topical workshops were held in conjunction with the 2012 GA. At the Workshop on Renewable Energy hosted by ABNT, ANSI delegate Jim Olshefsky of ASTM International spoke on photovoltaics and geothermal energy. Ryan Kane of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), International Trade Administration (ITA), presented insights at a workshop on energy efficient household appliances, hosted by PTB. The third workshop, hosted by ABNT, took the form of a seminar on social responsibility.

The next COPANT General Assembly will be hosted in St. Lucia in April 2013. Further information will be announced as it becomes available.

For more information, contact Jessica Roop, ANSI manager, international policy, regional and bilateral programs, at [email protected].


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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