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Written by: Leonard Parker | Houston Business News | 21st April
Last March, CERAWeek was the first major event in Houston that was canceled as the coronavirus started to become a global pandemic. This year, it’s being held virtually with speakers from around the world.
The international energy conference CERAWeek by IHS Markit kicked off Monday, and for the first time, it’s not being held in Houston. Instead, speakers are joining virtually from across the world.
Last March, CERAWeek was the first major event in Houston that was canceled as the coronavirus started to become a global pandemic.
The hope was for the conference to return to the Bayou City this year – and with it millions of dollars in estimated economic impact – but that hope was crushed as it became clear that the pandemic would continue through much of 2021.
Founded as Cambridge Energy Research Associates in 1983, the CERAWeek conference each year attracts global political and business leaders, who discuss energy, the global economy and geopolitics.
Among this year's speakers are U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and former Secretary of State John Kerry, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez, billionaire Bill Gates, as well as the CEOs of some of the world's largest oil and gas companies.
Many of the conversations during the conference are led by IHS Markit Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, who founded CERAWeek.
Speaking on Houston Matters with Craig Cohen, Yergin said he was optimistic about the recovery as more people are being vaccinated.
"I think what the energy markets now are seeing is a return to a new normality but a normality and a recovery, a global recovery, in economies," he said.
Yergin said his company's economists keep raising their outlook for the U.S. economy.
"We're getting out of what I call ‘virus alley' in terms of energy prices back to a real functioning global economy," he said.
Yergin said by the second quarter this year he expects the economy to be at a higher level than in 2019.
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