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In the discussion thread: President Obama's Speech at COP26 [View all]

Response to ancianita (Original post)

Mon Nov 8, 2021, 11:01 PM

1. Full transcript:



... Now, back in the United States of course, some of our progress stalled when my successor decided to unilaterally pull out of the Paris Agreement in his first year in office. I wasnít real happy about that.

And yet the determination of our state and local governments, along with the regulations and investment that my administration had already put in place, allowed our country to keep moving forward despite hostility from the White House. The $90 billion investment that we made in 2009 helped to jumpstart the clean energy industry in the United States and markets adapted and so did consumers. Even when the Trump administration rolled back emission requirements for automakers, along with regulatory changes and efficiency standards, many businesses chose to stay the course. They kept reducing emissions. They continued the transition to electric vehicles and energy-saving appliances. The ball had been rolling and it didnít stop.

Meanwhile, science and technology continue to advance. Today the price of solar and wind energy has dropped to the point where in some places clean energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. Around the world, scientists and entrepreneurs are integrating abundant renewable energy, more powerful batteries, breakthroughs in fields like synthetic biology to invent a better future that is healthier and more affordable. Thatís all good news for the planet and it is also good news for people looking for a job.

In the US alone, more than 3 million people now work in clean energy related jobs. That is more than the number of people currently employed by the entire fossil fuel industry. Despite four years of active hostility toward climate science coming from the very top of our federal government, the American people managed to still meet our original commitment under the Paris Agreement. Not only that, but the rest of the world stayed in the deal. Now with President Biden and his administration rejoining the agreement, the US government is once again engaged and prepared to take a leadership role. Everybody whoís been watching John Kerry run around here knows that we take that role seriously.

As the worldís second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the US has to lead. We have enormous responsibilities and obviously we still have a lot of work to do. But last week, Congress passed President Bidenís bipartisan infrastructure bill that will, among other things, create jobs manufacturing solar panels and wind turbines and batteries and electric vehicles and build out the first ever national network of charging stations so families can travel across the US in electric vehicles. Iím confident that a version of President Bidenís Build Back Better bill will pass through Congress in the coming next few weeks. Hereís what it will mean when that bill does pass. That legislation will devote over half a trillion dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over a billion metric tons by the end of the decade, at least 10 times more than any legislation previously passed by Congress. Along the way, it will reduce consumer energy costs. It will invest in a clean energy economy. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and it will set the United States on course to meet its new climate targets, achieving a 50 to 52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. The US is back, and in moving more boldly, the US is not alone.

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