State Department
Washington, D.C

1:33 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everyone.  Welcome, again, to the ASEAN leaders. 

We just had a very robust and productive conversation this morning covering very important issues that are part of our collective goals of working together, and so I thank you for that. 

And this afternoon, we are going to conduct a session directing our attention to the immediate existential issue of what we must do in the context of the climate crisis. 

Particularly, this session will address the work that we can do together in terms of climate action, clean energy transformation, and sustainable infrastructure. 

 I want to also welcome and thank the members of our Cabinet for being here, who will participate in this conversation. 

Southeast Asia knows the impact of the climate crisis all too well: rising sea levels, typhoons, floods, and drought.  It costs lives and livelihoods.  And it affects the American people as well.  Including — in the last couple of years, we’ve experienced devastating wildfires in California — my home state — and, most recently, New Mexico, as well as our own share of floods and — and drought and hurricanes.

So it is an issue that we are all concerned about and that we have experienced in a way that has caused great harm to the people of our nations. 

But the good news is we also have solutions at hand, and they represent, then, an opportunity — an opportunity to unlock new industries and economic growth for our countries.

This is why, together, we must raise our collective ambition, accelerate the transition to clean energy, and meet our infrastructure needs in a sustainable manner. 

At this summit, the United States has launched a series of initiatives, and I’ll highlight three in particular.

One, we will mobilize billions of dollars by leveraging public, philanthropic, and private financing directed at clean energy and climate-smart infrastructure.

Second, among the many initiatives will be an initiative to launch new partnerships on sustainable transportation and forest conservation.

And third, as a point of personal privilege for myself, I — I am the chair of the National Space Council for the United States.  And together, we will expand what we can do to share satellite data in a way that will help ASEAN nations prepare and respond to the climate crisis and the resulting extreme weather. 

I often note and I’ve talked with many of you about our shared belief that our world is increasingly more interconnected and interdependent. 

That is especially true when it comes to the climate crisis, which is why we will work together and continue to work together to address these issues, to tackle these challenges, and to work together as we continue to work, operating from the new norms, rules, and agreements that we will convene to work together on to galvanize global action. 

With that, I thank you all.  This is a matter of urgent priority for all of us.  And I know we will work on this together. 

So with that, thank you.  And to the members of the press, thank you all.  We’re going to now begin our conversation.
Thank you.

                            END                   1:37 P.M. EDT 

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