As prepared for delivery at the Tech for Climate Action Conference

Thank you, Sasha.

Thank you to my colleagues across government for championing this work, especially Senator Whitehouse.

Anyone who is focused on climate knows just how monumental the task of meeting this crisis is. The world has to both decarbonize to limit climate change and build resilience to handle the changes that are already underway.

For many years, as everyone admired this problem, I think many of us started to feel that it was hopeless.

Today, that is turning around. Let me show you what’s happening here in the United States on decarbonization.

President Biden has taken the most ambitious climate action in history. Those actions started on Day One, when he rejoined the Paris Agreement. He has committed to achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. He signed two pieces of legislation that make the largest investments ever for tackling climate change: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act. And he has put in place critically needed emissions rules.

And here’s what’s happening now as a result of all of these actions:

Under President Biden’s leadership, we’re deploying clean energy at a scale massive enough that, finally, the climate will notice.

Since President Biden took office, all of the clean energy projects that have been announced add up to 100 GW. Think about what that means. When the Hoover Dam was built, it was a once in a lifetime achievement 100 GW is 50 Hoover Dams’ worth of clean power. That represents $140 billion in clean power investments from private companies.

Now we’re at a point where clean energy generation is the primary new capacity we’re building. It’s on track to make up 96% of new electricity-generating capacity this year.

There’s also significant investment in manufacturing for clean energy products like solar, wind turbines, batteries, and EVs. We’ve seen $240 billion in new U.S. manufacturing in these areas.

That’s a conservative estimate, and these commitments are very recent. So we’re just getting started, and we’re already seeing huge changes.

When you aggregate all this, you can now see that we are unlocking the path to cutting our emissions in half by 2030 and ultimately reaching net zero by 2050.

What didn’t see possible just a few years ago is now visible. It is within reach.

We all understand that these changes cut across every part of our society and our economy. They touch every person in the United States.

So, at every step, as we do this work for the climate, we are also focusing on consumer costs, on jobs, and on environmental justice. And we are making critical progress here too.

Clean energy is cutting costs for communities across America and around the world.

Clean energy deployment from both the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is projected to cut electricity rates by as much as 9% by 2030. That means saving American families up to $38 billion on their electricity bills over the next decade.

By helping to deploy all of these clean energy technologies, the Inflation Reduction Act could drive down costs by as much as 25% by 2030, and spur more action around the world, which we know has to happen for the planet to succeed.

The clean energy transition is also creating good-paying jobs across the country.

The Inflation Reduction Act has spurred over 270,000 clean energy jobs that have already been announced, and could create more than a million direct jobs, both in clean energy manufacturing and deployment over the next decade.

And as we transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, we’re leaving no community behind.

At least 96% of all counties, representing over 99% of the population, have at least one announced project made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

And, since the President signed the Inflation Reduction Act, we expect air pollution from the power sector to fall dramatically, preventing as many as 18,000 deaths between now and 2030. The savings from these health benefits could be up to $190 billion. We also can expect to avoid up to 118,000 asthma attacks and hundreds of thousands of lost workdays.

Putting this into practice, for example, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, nine school districts in Colorado are able to purchase new electric buses that will help students and community members breathe cleaner air and reduce health risks associated with diesel exhaust.

That’s a glimpse of how the tide is turning under this President’s leadership.

This is how we are working with companies and communities and investors to change climate outcomes.

All of this work—the President’s Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—all of these efforts are implementing and scaling the fruits of prior research and development (R&D).

At the same time, we are investing in the new R&D we need to finish the job.

There are even harder decarbonization challenges ahead. In addition to decarbonizing electricity and transportation and buildings, we have to decarbonize industrial production and agriculture and pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as well.

We’ve made these kinds of massive transformations before, but that usually takes a half century or a full century. Now we have just a couple of decades to get this job done. And that means we need innovation in mass scale deployment as well as in specific technologies. That’s the work ahead.

And we know it will be a bumpy road, but now that road leads to the destination we need. And most important, the progress we are now making tells us that we can do big things. That gives us the hope and the courage to get there.

President Biden finished his State of the Union address a couple of weeks ago by saying: “Let’s build the future together.” It’s hard to imagine a more exciting invitation.

Thank you for the work you are doing to build the future with us, with hope and courage.


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