President Biden’s remarks at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate


8:34 a.m. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you John. Hi there. And thank you, whatever time zone you are in, for taking the time to be here. I really appreciate.

You know, we meet today at a time when — when there are pressing global issues that affect all of our nations, require our imme- — and they all require our immediate action and our close cooperation.

Russia’s brutal and unprovoked aggression against its neighbor Ukraine has fueled a global energy crisis and reinforced the need to achieve reliable, long-term energy security and stability.

And with the war in Russia driving up inflation around the world, threatening vulnerable countries with severe food shortages, we must work together to mitigate the immediate fallout from this crisis.

In the United States, I am using every lever at my disposal to drive down prices for the American people. And our nations are working together to stabilize global energy markets, including coordinating the largest release of the world’s reserve – global oil reserves in history.

But the critical point is that these actions are part of our transition to a clean and secure long-term energy future. And the good news is that climate security and energy security go hand in hand.

For example, last March the European Commission – with President von der Leyen leading the effort – and I announced the creation of a US-EU Energy Security Task Force to help EU to rapidly reduce its dependence on Russian gas and to reduce the EU’s overall demand for gas by developing clean energy technologies.

We will strengthen our energy security and improve the affordability and reliability of energy worldwide and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Because we can’t – we can’t afford to let the critical goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius slip away.

And science tells us that the window for action is shrinking fast – fast.

Glasgow was just the start of a decade of ambition, action and innovation. And we are looking towards COP27. We must – we must dedicate ourselves, as we look forward to it, to achieving the existing goals and undertaking additional efforts to accelerate our progress.

So I urge those countries that — those countries that haven’t yet set an emissions target for 2030 to align with the Paris temperature target, to step up their targets for COP27.

At the same time, we need new initiatives to accelerate our progress towards our goals and strengthen our resilience.

Here’s what the United States is proposing to maximize efficiency and reduce emissions in the energy, transportation, and agriculture sectors. I hope many of you will join us in these efforts.

First, we need to build on the success of the Global Methane Commitment, which now includes over 115 countries. To do this, we are announcing the Global Methane Pledge Emer – excuse me – Energy Pathway to accelerate the rate at which we reduce methane leakage from the oil and gas sector, and also to help meet our energy needs.

Every year, our existing energy system leaks enough methane to meet the needs of the entire European electricity sector. We flare enough gas to offset almost all of the EU’s gas imports from Russia. And so, by stopping the leaking and flaring of this super potent greenhouse gas, and capturing this resource for the countries that need it, we are solving two problems at once.

Second, we are investing in innovation and accelerating the scale of new technologies like carbon capture and advanced nuclear and clean hydrogen. The International Energy Agency says we need $90 billion in demonstration projects for this decade. And through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act that was passed here in the United States, we are stepping up our $21.5 billion contribution to that goal.

For example, we have launched a multi-billion dollar effort to create hydrogen centers across the country. And use the Defense Production Act, in our system, to stimulate the manufacture of electrolyzers, which are used to produce clean hydrogen. We’ve done — we’re doing both of those things.

Our Department of Energy has also just issued a loan guarantee to build one of the largest clean hydrogen storage facilities in the world.

And I challenge us, together, to meet the $90 billion total goal of the Global Clean Energy Action Forum the United States is hosting in September in Pittsburgh.

Third, Russia’s war is driving up gas prices—everybody knows that—and hurting people in all of our countries. It’s an immediate problem that I suspect all of you and I know I work with every day.

In the long term, we can take the pain out of volatile gas prices and reduce transportation emissions by putting more zero-emission cars on the road.

In the United States, we are building a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. We are strengthening our supply chains for the critical materials that go into these batteries. And we’ve set a goal of having half of all passenger cars sold in the United States by 2020 be zero — by 2030, I should say — zero emissions. I urge you all to join us in a similar goal.

Fourth, if shipping were a country, it would be the eighth largest emitter in the world. It is essential that we do more to promote zero-emission fuels and green shipping corridors in this sector. And it seems to me that we should be able to do that. That’s why the United States and Norway are launching the Green Shipping Challenge to completely decarbonize shipping by 2050.

And finally, Russia’s war in Ukraine is worsening food insecurity, in part because of soaring fertilizer prices. Fertilizer production relies on natural gas, but more than 50% of nitrogen fertilizer is lost worldwide each year to waste.

So today the United States is launching a new global fertilizer challenge. Aim to raise at least $100 million to increase fertilizer efficiency and develop alternatives by COP27.

And to continue to strengthen our adaptation efforts, this year the United States will partner with Egypt at the Adaptation in Africa event to propose concrete initiatives that will improve people’s lives and strengthen resilience to climate change.

These are all achievable goals, in my opinion. And if we all commit to doing our part, we will get there. And if we do, we will unlock incredible opportunities for all of our people around the world: more growth, more innovation, more well-paying jobs that support working families, greater food security for communities across the world, and we will finally break our dependence on volatile energy markets and high gas prices.

So thank you again everyone for taking the time to – this morning, today, tonight – whatever the time – for what – and for joining us. So let’s keep this challenge — let’s keep doing what we — what we’ve been doing. Challenge yourself to do more, because we can.

Thank you all very much for listening. I look forward to hearing what you all have to say. Thanks. Thanks, John.

8:42 a.m. EDT


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