East Room Washington D.C. April 23 9:43 A.M. EDT
Well, welcome back. Thank you all again — all the world leaders who've joined us — thank you for joining. And, John, thank you for putting this together.
We've made great progress, in my view, so far. And I'm grateful to all the leaders who have announced new commitments to help us meet the existential threat of climate change. This summit is a start — a start of a road that will take us to Glasgow for the U.N. Climate Change Conference in November where we're going to make these commitments real, putting all of our nations on path to a secure, prosperous, and sustainable future.
Today's final session is not about the threat of climate change poses; it's about the opportunity that addressing climate change provides. It's an opportunity to create millions of good-paying jobs around the world and innovate — in innovative sectors — you know, jobs that bring greater quality of life, greater dignity to the people performing those jobs in every nation.
For a line-worker, electricians, utility workers — laying transmission lines, connecting battery storage, and making our electric grid more modern. For automotive workers — building electric cars, trucks, and buses. Skilled workers installing and charge — charging stations to accommodate them throughout our countries.
Construction workers, engineers, insulators — upgrading our schools and commercial buildings, and constructing new energy-efficient homes. Manufacturing — manufacturing workers building nuclear and carbon capture technologies, solar panels, and wind turbines.
And people working in the fields that we haven't even conceived of yet — on forms [sic] — on farms and on factories and in laboratories and universities with things we haven't even thought of so far.
This is — this challenge and these opportunities are going to be met by working people in every nation. And as we transition to a clean energy future, we must ensure that workers who have thrived in yesterday's and today's industries have as bright a tomorrow in the new industries as well as in the places where they live, in the communities they have built.
When we invest in climate resilience and infrastructure, we create opportunities for everyone. That's — that's at the heart of my Jobs Plan that I proposed here in United States. It's how our nation intends to build an economy that gives everybody a fair shot.
As you heard in the last session, it requires investing in innovation. That's why I've asked the Secretary of Energy — my Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, who you saw earlier — to speed the development of critical technologies to tackle the climate crisis.
No single technology is the answer on its own because every sector requires innovation to meet this moment. You know, this critical effort is going to propel the most impactful breakthroughs at home and around the world and lower the cost of — we're paying now for polluting the air so badly. We're going to move to net zero in a transition in all countries.
Now, look, every country will need to invest in new clean energy technologies as we work forward and — to deal with net-zero emissions.
I am also very proud to announce the United States is again becoming a key leader in Mission Innovation — we helped launch the program during the Obama-Biden administration — a pact between the world's largest economies to ramp up investments in clean energy research and development.
And today, America is once again stepping into the leadership role. We will be joining and a partner — for the nations and efforts to decarbonize critical sectors across the board, including industrial sector, where we'll join with Sweden and India, and leadership — in the Leadership Group for — for Industry Transition; the power sector, where we'll work alongside of the United Kingdom to spread progress and speed it up toward a carbon-free power system both here and around the world; and in agriculture — the agricultural sector, where we'll launch the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate with the United — with the United Ara- — United Arab Emirates and other partners.
We also — I'm very heartened by President Putin's call yesterday for the world to collaborate and advanced carbon dioxide removal. And the United States looks forward to working with Russia and other countries in that endeavor. It has a great promise.
This is a moment for all of us to build better economies for our children, our grandchildren, and all of us to thrive — to thrive in — not just now, but beyond for the next generations.
Nations that work together to invest in a cleaner economy will reap rewards for their citizens. The United States is committed — we are committed to making those investments to grow our economy here at home while connecting with markets around the world.
For example, we're launching a new Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure. This will create good-paying jobs here in America by supporting development of new clean infrastructure in our partner countries.
These are the sort of partnerships that are going to be good for all of us. And I think they'll have additional benefits just with us working together.
And today, I'm excited to welcome my counterparts in Spain, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Poland to share their thinking on how to realize the economies — the economic opportunities of the climate response.
And we're going to be joined by labor, and business, community leaders from around the world to talk about what's happening in their communities around climate-related jobs.
And I'm pleased to be joined by Secretary Buttigieg, Ambassador Tai, and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, the chair of my National Climate Task Force.
I look forward to our conversation and making more progress — more progress throughout today. Thank you.
(The virtual discussion commences.)
(The virtual discussion concludes.)
Well, John, thank you. As we close this historic summit, I want to take a moment to thank the world leaders and all the participants from around the globe who have joined together to confront the existential threat of climate change. There's no threat like it.
Over the last two days, I think we made some important progress. In the spirit of increasing efforts to address climate change globally, we're launching an initiative to help developing countries strengthen their climate efforts while achieving their development goals. And that's going to mean money.
Yesterday, I announced the United States made a new commitment, under the Paris Agreement, to cut our emissions by 50 to 52 percent by the end of this decade. And we'll get there by investing in American workers, American jobs, American infrastructure, and building a stronger and more resilient economy.
We also welcome ambitious targets announced this week by two great partners. My good friend, the Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Suga, announced that Japan will cut emissions by up to 60 — excuse me — 50 percent below the 2013 levels, almost doubling their current target.
Prime Minister Trudeau, another good friend, from Canada, will reduce emissions by as much as 45 percent below the 2005 levels.
These announcements came on top of a demonstrated leadership and strong existing targets set by the European Union and the United Kingdom. And together, these commitments mean that half of the world's economy is now committed to — to pace the action that we need to — at a pace we need to limit warming to 1.5 degrees — an amount beyond which scientists tell us — have said 1,000 times — all of us could be at a point of no return.
We also heard encouraging news — announcements from Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and South Korea. I'm looking forward to working with India's Prime Minister Modi in a new partnership to achieve our climate and energy goals, making this a core pillar of our bilateral cooperation.
And the commitments we've made must become real. Commitment without us doing it — it's just a lot of hot air. No pun intended.
You know, we must implement these commitments, accelerate them, and innovate and invest in order to reach them. And we need to work together, once again, to build a clean energy future that delivers good jobs and overcomes the threat of climate change — investing in innovation and in our people, raising our ambitions, ensuring every nation does its part.
And we'll meet again in Glasgow in November for the U.N. Climate Conference. I believe we're going to meet those moments. I think we're going to meet the moment that we've all been talking about to make this commitment and to keep the commitment. It's an economic imperative. I think it's a moral imperative to future generations.
Here in America, there's never been a challenge we couldn't meet if we put our minds to it and did it together. I hope your countries feel the same way. I know we can do this. I know we can do this.
Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for joining the summit. And thank you for stepping up to confront this crisis before it's too late. I know we can seize the opportunities of a cleaner, stronger, and more resilient economy and deliver the benefits to people in each — each of our nations.
So I look forward — I look forward to working alongside you to confront the climate crisis, to build a better world for all of our children and grandchildren. We're going to do this together.
Thank you all. And may God bless you. And let's get to work. Thanks again.
END 11:17 A.M. EDT
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