It was an absolute privilege to represent Wildfire Defense Mesh and witness the international signing of the Climate Action Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Australia and California. The joint statement was signed by Secretary Wade Crowfoot of the California Natural Resources Agency, Consul General Jane Duke, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Australian Ambassador Kevin Rudd.
I’m so proud that immediately following Australia’s tragic 2009 “Black Summer,” my family had the foresight to prioritize and increase investment in the development of our wildfire mitigation products and education initiative about the benefits of risk reduction at the community scale. I am thankful for the Australian Government's support of this vision through the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), This allowed Wildfire Defense Mesh™ to expand our support of community empowerment, resilience, and awareness in the U.S., receive U.S. Patent Pending designation for our product design, and watch U.S. communities take charge of decreasing their wildfire risk.
It's been gratifying to see the mutually beneficial outcomes between the U.S. and Australia through data sharing, research, and conversations with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), CSIRO, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), UL Research Institutes, NFPA, Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, Country Fire Authority (CFA), NSW Rural Fire Service, California Fire Safe Council, Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network, local fire departments, fire authorities, and Firewise Communities.
After the recent devastation in Maui, I sought out and succeeded with fruitful discussions with respective leaders on creating community resilience, especially with low-cost, easy, effective measures that can benefit all communities, regardless of socio/economic conditions or threat level.
The MoU reiterates the urgent need for collaborative actions and innovative thinking to mitigate and adapt to climate change to the very best of our collective abilities. Areas of cooperation range from clean transportation, clean energy, and tech, green finance, the circular economy, R&D, and adaptation, including wildfire resilience and risk reduction initiatives. As leaders in this space, we look forward to continuing to innovate in our industry, helping homeowners and communities proactively manage their risk of all climate-related threats.