S1 remarks as prepared for the Energy Transition Council’s
“Making the Global Transition to Clean Power a Reality” Panel
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Thank you. It’s my honor to be here on behalf of the United States.
This panel discussion is homing in on two inescapable facts facing the international community: we absolutely must cut carbon pollution, as quickly as possible… and we absolutely must meet the growing energy needs of our people.
There’s a straightforward solution. We need to build out as much clean baseload power as we can.
That means deploying more clean energy capacity, it means improving storage technology, and it means commercializing techniques like carbon capture and storage, to address hard-to-decarbonize industries.
These are not easy tasks. But the good news is, it’s already cheaper to build clean! And clean energy offers enormous potential for job creation and economic growth.
The market for these decarbonizing technologies will reach $23 trillion by the end of the decade—at minimum.
And President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda will invest nearly $800 billion in clean energy and climate action.
We see this shift towards clean energy as a shift towards tremendous economic opportunity for communities of all kinds—including the fossil energy communities that have powered the world for a century.
And the more countries we have jumping into this market, the larger the opportunity will grow.
We know there are many high-emitting, coal-dependent countries out there that have the political will to embrace clean energy buildout, but don’t yet have a pathway forward to do it.
That’s why President Biden has requested funding to support the Accelerating Coal Transition investment program of the Climate Investment Fund, and provide clean energy financing assistance to countries in need.
And it’s why last night, the Department of Energy launched the Net Zero World Initiative.
This is our offer to work with countries everywhere as they move from ambition to action.
Through Net Zero World, we’ll collaborate with partner nations to develop place-based, country-specific strategies to drive investment and technical assistance towards clean energy deployment.
And we’ll do it by leveraging a world-class consortium—including our 17 National Labs, our program offices, other federal agencies, universities, businesses, and philanthropies.
Our partners will be able to lean on vast resources and expertise in designing and pursuing action plans for decarbonization that meet their unique needs.
We are starting out with six Net Zero World founding partner nations: Indonesia, Nigeria, Egypt, Ukraine, Chile, and Argentina. And we are eager to swell the ranks—because, again, the clean energy opportunity will keep growing as more countries get involved.
And that’s what we need to focus on. Not what we’re transitioning from, but what we can all move towards. The scope of our challenge is great, yes—but the opportunity at hand can be, should be, so much greater. Let’s work together and make sure it is.