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Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at the White House Earth Day Roundtable



I’m pleased to join you to discuss our fight against climate change.

At the Commerce Department, we know that climate change creates economic risks for our workers, businesses, and economy. A stable climate and other natural assets like clean air, healthy oceans, and plentiful forests are crucial to American prosperity.

Today, I’m honored to join my colleagues in the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget to announce the initiation of the first U.S. national system of natural capital accounts and standardized environmental-economic statistics.

This work will ensure that we’re measuring and managing our natural assets – our lands and waters – just like we do with other economic assets.

It will bring us in line with the best global thinking around economic and environmental tracking and inform policy thinking for years to come.

A group of experts across the federal government will take the first step in this process by creating a strategy for this new national system. With the strategy in hand, the group will turn to implementation by the end of next year.

I’m also proud that the Commerce Department is taking other meaningful steps to combat climate change and nature loss.

As the former Governor of Rhode Island – the Ocean State – I know firsthand that climate change is having a direct, negative impact on the ocean, resulting in warming and sea level rise.

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, NOAA is investing one and a half billion dollars in coastal resilience and habitat restoration.

We’re also working to drive innovation in clean technologies that address the climate risks of today and create millions of jobs for tomorrow.

The only question is whether those jobs will be here in America or somewhere else. To reach net zero emissions by 2050, we’ll need technologies that don’t even exist yet.

That’s why I’m working with Congress to get the Bipartisan Innovation Act to President Biden’s desk. With its $52 billion investment in domestic semiconductor production, this bill will supercharge American innovation in clean tech.

We still have a long way to go to fully address the climate crisis.

But if we invest in cutting-edge technologies and build meaningful partnerships with businesses and allies, we will combat climate change, stop nature loss, lead the world toward a clean energy future, and create millions of good-paying jobs along the way.