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Remarks by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation (P-TECC) Business Forum in Warsaw, Poland

AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY

Hello everyone! It’s great to be here with you at the P-TECC Business Forum. Thank you, Secretary Granholm for that kind introduction.

I’m so grateful to Minister Kurtyka and the Government of Poland for hosting us. I also want to thank Assistant Secretary Light and his team at DOE and the Atlantic Council for organizing this important event, as well as the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Bix Aliu and embassy team for all your support.

When my friend David Turk at the Department of Energy called me about this event, there was no way I was going to miss it.

I think it’s befitting that we’re having this discussion at the Praga Koneser Center, on the premise of the former Warsaw Vodka Factory “Koneser.” Not because I like vodka, but because back in 1897, the factory was one of the most technologically advanced production plants in Warsaw. And it’s that kind of innovation and vision that we need to harness today’s climate crisis.

Beyond the factory, this region is so impressive. The two-dozen countries here—not even counting the EU—account for over $6 trillion in GDP. The United States’ total merchandise trade with your countries is over $240 billion.

Our companies invest heavily in each other. In Poland, there are nearly 1,500 companies operating with U.S. capital. More than 500 investors from Europe and Eurasia came to our Commerce Department Investment Summit this year.

I’m not an energy or climate expert. But I know that addressing the climate crisis is as much an economic challenge as it is a scientific one. Last year set a record for the U.S. – a total of 22 weather and climate events cost us over $99 billion dollars. And we’re on track to break that record this year. 

Today we face a pressing need to create new technologies, new markets, and a new, clean economy.

That’s why it’s so important we strengthen our collaboration on this issue based on shared values – fair competition, free flow of information, and open markets. That’s how we’re going to drive innovation that leads us to a clean energy future.

Forums such as P-TECC, and the Three Seas Initiative, help us reach that goal.

At Commerce, Secretary Raimondo has made clean tech promotion a top priority for the Department. And we’re excited to be working on this issue alongside the Department of Energy, our other partners across the U.S. Government − and all of you.

Through our U.S. Commercial Service in over 75 countries, we help U.S. companies connect with foreign business partners and governments.

I’m particularly proud of our Poland team, led by Cindy Biggs. Twelve years ago, one of our staff members, Anna Janczewska began working with the Government of Poland and U.S. companies to develop a clean nuclear energy plan.

This year our countries signed an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation. We also just signed a U.S. Trade and Development Agency, or USTDA, grant with Minister Kurtyka for an engineering and design study by Westinghouse and Bechtel.

But our partnerships aren’t limited to Poland – we work with countries across the P-TECC region and European Union.

In February, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, worked with experts from around the world to update a Smart Grid Interoperability Framework that can drive international standards.

In October, NIST will support a Transatlantic roundtable with the German government and industry on cyber-resilient infrastructures and how to react to cyber-attacks.

In two weeks, Commerce, USTDA, and the Romanian government are holding a workshop to promote small modular reactor technologies throughout Europe.

And there’s a similar event in December with Bulgaria. These workshops are part of our SMR Public-Private Program.

Next year, we’re planning a trade mission in the Western Balkans featuring clean technologies.

And every day our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, helps the world measure climate change and weather events.

We’re making progress. But there’s still more work to do and it won’t happen overnight. The reality is, traditional fossil energy are still relevant today, as we work together to reduce global carbon emissions and transition to clean energy sources.

Secretary Raimondo and I have been very impressed with the EU “Just Transition” program, an idea that blossomed right here in Poland. It provides financial support, training, and new job opportunities in the clean economy.

Ideas like this are central to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Build Back Better agenda. We envision millions of new jobs from a largely decarbonized electricity sector by 2035.

Now, we all know governments can’t solve the climate crisis without our businesses leading the way. YOU are at the forefront of the world’s energy transformation.

And if we strengthen our collaboration on this critical issue, while staying true to shared democratic values – equity, transparency, and rule of law − we will lead the world toward a clean energy future.

Along the way, we won’t just address the climate risks of today – we’ll also create millions of good-paying jobs for tomorrow.

So thank you for joining today’s Forum, I look forward to working together with you to expand and deepen our cooperation in the future, so that all of our citizens can prosper and thrive in a clean 21st century global economy.

Thank you.

Leadership