Friday, September 23, 2022
Hello everyone! What a week!
It has been such an honor to host the first Global Clean Energy Action Forum, the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial, and the 7th Mission Innovation meetings here in Pittsburgh.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the City of Pittsburgh and the rest of our host committee for welcoming us to this innovation powerhouse.
I’m so grateful to our partners at Carnegie Mellon University and to all of our staff for making this week a success.
For the first time in three years, we came together in person—as delegations from 33 countries, over 400 energy CEOs, young professionals, and thousands of leaders from industry and advocacy.
After being kept apart by COVID for so long, the past three days have brought all of our nations—and the world—closer together.
It reminded me that we are all on the same ship—Planet Earth. And we’ve been facing some rough seas for a while now.
The climate crisis continues its terrifying escalation of hurricanes, fires, and floods.
In the United States alone, last year’s climate-fueled disasters cost us $148 billion. This year could bring even more damage.
On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed just how unequal our world is—and how vulnerable disadvantaged communities remain without support.
And of course, Putin’s war in Ukraine rages on, with energy as a weapon, showing us that the longer we remain tied to volatile fossil fuel markets, the longer we can be manipulated by petrodictators like him.
Right now, we have a moment—a brief moment—to turn our ship around on all three challenges. To leave the stormy seas behind. To feel the wind at our backs.
We’ll do it by filling our sails with clean energy.
Clean energy is an opportunity to remake the global economy to the tune of a $23 trillion market by the end of this decade.
It’s a chance to create millions of good-paying, high-quality jobs that expand opportunities for every worker.
Solar, wind, geothermal, clean hydrogen, batteries, EVs, and more are the key to eliminating pollution that’s been plaguing communities for decades.
And building supply chains for all these technologies together—with nations who share democratic values—will ensure that this energy transition isn’t just safe, but secure.
The opportunity here is obvious. But to seize it, we have to work together.
Here, I’d like to commend the work of everyone involved in the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation—who continue to show how collaboration produces results.
Over the past three days, you’ve made concrete plans to work together on major demonstration projects and innovation projects that will get clean energy out the door faster.
That’s exactly the momentum we need to continue through COP27 in Sharm El Shaikh, Egypt this November, and into next year’s Global Clean Energy Action Forum.
We have been honored to host this year’s meetings and are thrilled to pass the baton to India and then to Brazil.
You’ll hear from both ministers in just a moment. But first, the United States has one more announcement to share as we close out this year’s Global Clean Energy Action Forum.
The International Energy Agency found that in order to meet our climate goals, we need to mobilize $90 billion in public funding for commercial-scale clean energy demonstration projects in the next four years.
In June, President Biden challenged the nations represented here to come to Pittsburgh to share their contributions towards this global goal.
We’re proud to announce that this week, 15 countries—the United States, along with Australia, Canada, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates—have committed $94 billion for demonstration projects, putting us $4 billion over our goal!
Investing in innovation anywhere speeds deployment and increases affordability of clean energy everywhere.
So twelve countries making these big investments is a big deal, and a true sign of progress.
We can find similar signs of progress everywhere we look.
That’s why this week—being here with all of you—has filled me with hope.
But all of us—whether you’re a CEO, a government official, an NGO leader, or a community advocate—can and must do more.
We need every single country, business, city, and institution doing everything they can to deploy, deploy, deploy clean energy, year after year.
Because it won’t always be smooth sailing as we undergo this clean energy transition. Sometimes we’ll encounter a squall. Sometimes waves will crash onto the deck.
But our power lies in the collective. If we’re all picking up an oar and rowing in the same direction—like we're doing right now—we can weather any storm.
So let’s step aboard—together—and let’s sail toward a future we know is possible.