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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo Addresses Clean Energy Economy and Importance of Business and Academia in Fight for Climate Change

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo joined President Biden and world leaders today at the Leader’s Summit on Climate. President Biden convened this summit to address the world’s impending climate crisis, including emissions reductions, finance, innovation and job creation, and resilience and adaptation. During his first few days in office, President Biden signed an executive order rejoining the Paris Climate Accord setting a course for the United States to tackle the climate crisis at both home and abroad.

On day two of the summit, Secretary Raimondo participated in the “Unleashing Climate Innovation” session and moderated a panel of leading organizations at the cutting-edge of clean technology innovation. The session highlighted the critical role of technological innovation in achieving a net-zero, climate-resilient economy and the importance of accelerating public and private investment in climate innovation.

“Governments will not solve climate change alone. We also want and need private firms and academic research institutions to play a big role in advancing clean technology innovation,” she said.

Secretary Raimondo also highlighted the broad economic benefits of climate action, with a strong focus on job creation and ensuring that all communities and workers benefit from the clean-energy transition.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United States to develop and produce advanced technologies, export them around the world, and speed global net-zero transitions,” she said. “This work will ultimately lead to good-paying jobs and better technology for the world’s fight against climate change.”

She also noted that in 2020 global investments in clean technologies crossed $500 billion and that in the coming decades the new energy economy will open multitrillion-dollar markets for clean technologies.

During the summit, President Biden announced a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 – building on progress to-date and by positioning American workers and industry to tackle the climate crisis. 

“When people talk about climate, I think jobs,” said President Biden. “Within our climate response lies an extraordinary engine of job creation and economic opportunity ready to be fired up.”

President Biden’s announcement is part of larger focus on building back better in a way that will create millions of good-paying, union jobs, ensure economic competitiveness, advance environmental justice, and improve the health and security of communities across America.

Below is a full list of participants in the “Unleashing Climate Innovation” session.  

U.S. Participants

  • Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm
  • Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo
  • Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry


  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg, NorwayPrime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates


  • Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
  • Anna Borg, President and CEO, Vattenfall
  • Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Danielle Merfeld, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GE Renewable Energy
  • Audrey Zibelman, Vice President, X

Secretary Raimondo has been a long-time champion of climate change reform and has been a consistent advocate for more clean energy jobs. As governor of Rhode Island, she signed an executive order to advance 100% renewable electricity for the state by 2030 and pushed through America’s first offshore wind farm. During her confirmation hearing, Secretary Raimondo stated that creating good-paying jobs to meet the needs of climate will be one of her top priorities as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Secretary Raimondo also is part of the Administration’s National Climate Task Force.