Energy & Environment

Biden says US will work with other countries on climate innovation

President Biden on Friday said that the United States will partner with other countries on climate-related innovations while speaking at the White House climate summit. 

In particular, he said the U.S. would team up with Sweden and India to decarbonize the industrial sector, the United Kingdom to reach a carbon-free power sector and work on agriculture with the United Arab Emirates and others. 

Biden also said he was “heartened” by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call to collaborate with other countries on advancing carbon dioxide removal.

“The United States looks forward to working with Russia and other countries on that endeavor,” he said. “It has great promise.” 

He added that this type of cooperation will benefit all countries. 

“Nations that work together to invest in a cleaner economy will reap rewards for their citizens,” he said. 

The remarks come as the administration seeks to push for a clean energy transition in order to mitigate climate change and to show that jobs can be created in the process. 

In conjunction with the summit’s first day, the White House announced that it will aim to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent in a decade, a signal to the world that the country is recommitting to climate action.  

Biden on Friday said the U.S. needs to invest in new technologies and clean infrastructure and argued doing so would create new jobs while also tackling climate change, using the remarks to plug his $2.25 trillion jobs plan unveiled last month. 

The president said that putting money toward climate change would create new opportunities for working Americans in construction, manufacturing and fields that “we haven’t even conceived of yet.”

“This challenge and these opportunities are going to be met by working people in every nation,” Biden said. “We must ensure that workers who survived in yesterday’s and today’s industries have as bright a tomorrow in the new industries.”

The infrastructure and climate plan has faced hefty scrutiny from Republicans, who argue that it should be focused on traditional infrastructure projects. Republicans have also been particularly critical of Biden’s plan to pay for the bill by raising taxes on corporations, something they say would hurt companies and drive jobs overseas. 

On Thursday, a group of Senate Republicans unveiled a much narrower $568 billion counterproposal that focuses on funds to improve roads and bridges, public transit systems, rail, wastewater infrastructure, airports and broadband infrastructure. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the proposal was a legitimate starting point for negotiations between the White House and Congress. 

However, Biden is receiving considerable pressure from the left to go big on his infrastructure proposal to address climate change, which he again described as an “existential threat” in his remarks on Friday. Biden made clear that he views investing in green technologies and infrastructure as central to the country’s fight against climate change. 

“When we invest in climate resilience and infrastructure, we create opportunities for everyone. That is the heart of my jobs plan,” Biden said. “Every country will need to invest in new clean energy technologies.”

Tags Climate change Diplomacy green policy Infrastructure Jen Psaki Joe Biden Summit Vladimir Putin White House

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