Remarks by President Biden at the Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate
THE PRESIDENT: Well, hello again, everyone. Welcome back. As I mentioned this morning, meeting the moment on climate change must begin with a recognition that every nation has a responsibility and every nation is at risk.
Hurricanes and wildfires don’t confine themselves to national borders. Instability and displacement in one country has ripple effects that are felt throughout the regions and across the world.
Taking on climate change together is more than just the right thing to do; it’s also in everyone’s best interests to do it. Meeting this challenge is going to require mobilizing financing at an unprecedented scale.
The private sector is already recognizing this. They know that climate change is more than a threat. It also presents one of the largest job creation opportunities in history. Hundreds of billions of dollars are already being invested worldwide every year, supporting projects to help build a resilient economy with net-zero emission goals.
But the private sector has more it can do and must do. Let’s be clear: Even then, the private sector can’t meet these challenges alone. Governments need to step up and they need to lead.
We have a role to play in making sure that material climate risks to financial systems are measured, disclosed, and mitigated. If Wall Street is pumping billions of dollars into business that could be turned upside down when the next storm comes — and we know there will be more storms — Wall Street needs to make clear the risk it’s taking on.
Those dollars — those dollars being invested are often the hard-earned savings of our workers — pensions. We can’t take steps to protect our workers if we don’t step up. We have to be able to move forward from the downside deal, then into the upside, and strengthen the resilience of our financial system. I have directed my team to develop an approach to do exactly that.
You know, and our nations must — all of our nations must stand together in shifting policies and on public investment as well, you know, to invest in breakthrough technologies; to finally end fossil fuel subsidies; to help the world’s most vulnerable nations and those bearing the least responsibility for the climate crisis cope with the devastating impacts of the climate crisis; you know, to help developing economies leapfrog to a clean technologies of tomorrow; to mobilize the trillions of dollars needed to make the most of the opportunity to build a clean-energy, job-rich path to meet our goals; to make sure that our climate response is about more than just building and developing new sectors, but also about international security, regional stability, food security, and gender and racial equity as well.
You know, our shared goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year in developing countries is critical for achieving that. You know, it’s an investment that’s going to pay significant dividends for all of us. And to help meet that goal, the United States will double its 2024 — by 2024, our annual public climate financing development to developing countries. Compare that to what we were providing during the second half of the Obama-Biden administration.
At the same time, we intend to triple our public financing for climate application in developing countries by 2024, recognizing the dividends that pays in reducing the costs of disasters and conflicts are avoided.
You know, our Development Finance Corporation is committing to net-zero emissions through its investment portfolio by 2040 and to increase climate-focused investments to 33 percent of all new investments beginning in 2023, the earliest of any country.
In addition, today we are issuing America’s first-ever International Climate Fi- — Finance Plan. This plan represents our vision for financing the gloma- — the global climate response in a coordinated way. It lays out specific steps that federal agencies of the United States will take to increase both the quality and quantity of climate financing.
And it will help us spur the private sector to contribute more to climate solutions in developing nations and here at home as well.
You know, this moment demands urgency. Good ideas and good intentions aren’t good enough. We need to ensure that the financing will be there, both public and private, to meet the moment on climate change and to help us seize the opportunity for good jobs, strong economies, and a more secure world.
I’m confident — I’m confident that we are going to get this done together. And I look forward to the progress we’re going to make together in today’s sessions.
Image: “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
See original release here.
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