Remarks at Going Carbon Negative DOE Event in US Pavilion at COP26
November 5, 2021, Glasgow, UK
Good afternoon everyone!
As the United States Energy Secretary, I lead our nation’s “Solutions Agency,” the Department of Energy. We’re developing and deploying clean technologies every single day to meet our nation’s climate goals.
President Biden has set the bar high, pledging to cut our carbon pollution in half by 2030 and get to net zero by 2050.
To get there, DOE is working hard to deploy, deploy, deploy the clean technologies we already have. But we know we also have to knock down some key technological barriers standing in the way of our 100% clean energy future.
That’s why, earlier this year, we launched our Energy Earthshots to slash the cost of game-changing energy technologies within the decade.
We announced the first of those—the Hydrogen Shot—in June. It aims to cut the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% by 2030, to $1 per 1 kilogram in one decade. It’ll slash emissions from heavy-duty trucking and the industrial sector, some of the areas that are hardest to decarbonize.
Our second, the Long-Duration Storage Shot, came in July. Our goal is that by 2030, we’ll slash the cost of energy storage systems that last over ten hours by 90 percent. That will help make sure our clean grid delivers affordable and reliable electricity.
Achieving these Energy Earthshots is going to be a total boon in our fight against the climate crisis.
Now let me be clear: the Biden administration’s focus on building out clean energy and cutting carbon pollution at the source is unwavering.
But we’ve also got to look at the big picture here. We’ve reached code red on the climate crisis.
The carbon pollution we’ve already put in our atmosphere is fueling more extreme weather events every day.
The IPCC is telling us we need to develop strategies to ultimately remove carbon pollution from the atmosphere. That’s different than carbon capture, which avoids pollution at the source.
Carbon dioxide removal is about taking that pollution out of the atmosphere and storing it long term. It's going to help us not only get to net zero, but go beyond that to repair our climate.
But we’ve got to start investing in it now so we can use it as soon as possible.
That’s why, this week, DOE launched our third Energy Earthshot—the Carbon Negative Shot. It seeks to achieve durable and scalable carbon dioxide removal for less than $100 per net metric ton within a decade.
We can do that several different ways...through technologies like air capture...by locking carbon away in rocks...sequestering carbon in the soil...and so much more.
It means working directly with local communities, especially those who’ve been most impacted by climate change and pollution.
They’ve got to not only be at the decision-making table, but first in line for the economic and environmental benefits of these new industries.
And it means ensuring durable storage so once we take that pollution out of the atmosphere, it won’t turn around and go back.
This Carbon Negative Shot is going to drastically cut the cost of carbon dioxide removal strategies. It’s going to make it possible to deploy them a lot sooner than expected, and make sure they're deployed responsibly.
That means it’s going to put people to work in the not-so-distant future—including fossil fuel workers who can use the same skills they’ve honed powering our economies.
We owe it to them, and to the frontline communities most impacted by climate change, to make sure this new industry is a success.
In launching this new Carbon Negative Shot, the U.S. is also calling on other nations to partner with us to do just that.
To meet the moment on climate, we’re going to need every tool in our toolbox.
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. By working together, we can get this right.
We can set highly rigorous standards for durable carbon removal. We can create new jobs and economic opportunities.
And we can—and we will—save our planet and protect our most vulnerable communities.
With that, I’m very happy to introduce my friend and
head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol.