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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the CS London Climate Change Business Forum 2021: “The Road to COP26”


Hello everyone! It’s great to be here with all of you.

Thank you, Minister Counselor Gallant, for that introduction, and thank you, Ambassador Reeker, for hosting today’s event.

I’m so grateful to our sponsors and the Commercial Service London for all you do to advance our shared goals on climate change.

What an amazing program we’ve had today – from the networking to the panels and speakers on energy, transportation, infrastructure, and finance − it’s been phenomenal.

Addressing climate change is a top priority for our Administration. Almost immediately after assuming office, President Biden signed an executive order rejoining the Paris Climate Accords. In April, he reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. And there are many more ways that our Administration is proving American leadership in a clean energy future is back.

Over the past twelve months, we’ve witnessed devastation from extreme weather firsthand across the United States. In February, a record-breaking cold snap left tens of thousands of Americans in Texas without power or potable water for days. 

This summer, the Pacific Northwest suffered two of the most extreme heatwaves in its history, killing hundreds of people and causing major disruptions to businesses. And just weeks ago, Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast and triggered major floods from New Orleans to New York.

People associate 2020 with the year we experienced the worst global pandemic in over a century. But last year also set a record on the climate crisis – a total of 22 weather and climate events cost the U.S. over $96 billion dollars. We’re on track to break that record this year. 

Since January, there have been 44,000 wildfires that burned nearly 5.6 million acres of land nationwide, causing billions of dollars in damages and forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

The bottom line is this: our economies cannot recover unless we address climate change. 

If we act now and meet the Biden’s Administration’s climate targets, by 2030 we’ll reduce net greenhouse gas pollution by 52 percent from 2005 levels. By 2035, we’ll reach 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity. And by 2050 we’ll reach net zero emissions.

We know exactly where we need to be in ten, fifteen, and thirty years from now. We just have to ensure NOW that we’re on track to get there. That requires mobilizing countries to strengthen their own climate change ambitions.

In June, the U.S. and the UK agreed to a science and technology partnership under the renewed Atlantic Charter that deepens our cooperation on a range of issues – including climate change science and innovation.

Our National Institute of Standards and Technologies at the Department of Commerce is leading the charge on combining economic data with new technologies to measure greenhouse emissions.

In addition, our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and our National Weather Service are using cutting-edge technologies to monitor and forecast climate change.

But we all know governments can’t solve climate change alone. We need strong partnerships with all of you to get the job done.

If we strengthen our collaboration on this critical issue, while staying true to our values − equity, inclusivity, and science − 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.

And that’s exactly what our citizens, our local businesses, and our global economy need to recover from the pandemic and win the race to zero.

Thank you for joining the Climate Change Business Forum, and I look forward to working together with you in the days ahead.