Secretary Granholm Remarks as Prepared for the
Launch of Net Zero World
Glasgow, Scotland
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Thank you all for joining us today. It is my distinct pleasure to launch the Net Zero World Initiative. This is the Department of Energy’s signature contribution to President Biden’s Build Back Better World program.

All of us here know we need real action to accelerate this worldwide shift towards clean power. Between our summer of climate-supercharged extreme weather… and the fossil energy crisis now gripping much of the world… The dangers inherent in a global economy over-reliant on fossil fuels are undeniable.

But the opportunity in clean energy has never been clearer. By the end of this decade, the global market for clean energy will reach $23 trillion—at a minimum!

The more countries that jump into this market, the bigger it will grow.

That’s why President Biden thinks of “climate action” as “job creation.”

And it’s why we are committed to working with countries everywhere as they move from ambition to action.

All too many nations have urgent development needs and aging infrastructure. And they have few options for alternatives to unabated coal energy generation.

Net Zero World is going to change that.

Through this initiative, we’ll support real, tangible clean energy projects in partner nations that will help them meet energy needs.

Our partners will have the ability to access the unique expertise and assets offered not just by DOE and our 17 National Labs… and not just sister agencies like the State Department, USAID, US Trade and Development Agency, and the Development Finance Corporation… but universities, think tanks, businesses, and philanthropies—including Breakthrough Energy, represented here today by Managing Director Jonah Goldman…

Bezos Earth Fund, represented by President and CEO Andrew Steer…

The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, represented by Rockefeller Foundation President Raj Shah…

And Lynne and Marc Benioff.

Thank you all for supporting this.

And let me pause for a moment to also acknowledge the director of Argonne National Lab, Paul Kearns, who I am glad to see here today and thrilled to have on our Net Zero World team. I’ll be bringing up one of his National Lab and Net Zero World colleagues soon.

To jumpstart this initiative, DOE and our collaborators have committed $18 million in initial seed capital, with much more to come. The US Trade and Development Agency and Development Finance Corporation in particular are making sure that their associated spending also supports Net Zero World priorities.

That money will support our partner countries as they design the specific strategies needed to decarbonize their economies.

And these strategies will be informed by the technologies we know are ready to go, and the breakthroughs DOE and our labs are accelerating at home in the United States.

Since January 20, DOE has announced over $2.4 billion in funding for a diverse range of decarbonization technologies.

With President Biden’s full Build Back Better Agenda, the United States will be making an historic investment of nearly $800 billion more on clean energy and climate action through the next 10 years.

Those investments will help us widen the range of pathways our partner nations can take to reach ambitious goals, like net zero by 2050. And as our partners make progress, they’ll be able to pay it forward, helping their neighbors accelerate their own decarbonization efforts.

We’ve set a series of goals for Net Zero World to hold ourselves accountable.

By 2022, we want to set net zero plans and execute quick wins…

By 2023, we want to implement key policies and programs…

By 2024, we want to mobilize at least $10 billion in clean energy infrastructure and project investment…

And by 2025, we want to see new high-quality jobs going to a diverse range of workers: 50 percent women, and 40 percent within disadvantaged communities. 

I’m thrilled to share the stage today with some of the clean energy leaders who will work with us to meet these goals—including representatives from four of our first six partner nations in Net Zero World: Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt, Ukraine. And while representatives from Argentina and Chile could not join us here, we are still excited to have them among our founding partners.

All five of these nations can see the potential in that $23 trillion clean energy market—in solar, and wind, and storage, in geothermal, and hydropower, and nuclear, in carbon capture, carbon removal, and clean hydrogen… all of them ready to attract new businesses, create millions of jobs, and keep energy bills affordable.

And we all recognize that as the world emerges from a global health and economic crisis, there’s never been a better time to invest in that market. Through Net Zero World, we’ll work together to develop the best strategies for investment possible.

I thank all of my fellow ministers for joining us today and sharing their plans for transforming their nation’s energy system.