President Biden told world leaders on Friday that the U.S. will lead the way to “decarbonize” the globe by reducing demand for fossil fuels that power everything from cars to manufacturing plants.
“America is once again stepping into the leadership role,” Mr. Biden said on the second day of a virtual leaders summit on climate. “We will be joining in a partnership to decarbonize critical sectors across the board, including the industrial sector.”
The president mentioned Sweden and India as likely partners in the endeavor.
Mr. Biden also said he was “very heartened” by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appeal on Thursday for other countries to collaborate on “advanced carbon dioxide removal.”
“The United States looks forward to working with Russia and other countries in that endeavor that has great promise,” Mr. Biden said.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden committed the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, even as China reaffirmed its intention to increase emissions over the next decade and offered only vague pledges to eventually limit output. That goal requires drastic, costly overhauls to the U.S. economy.
The president said Friday that the transition “must ensure that workers who have thrived in yesterday’s and today’s industries have as bright a tomorrow in the new industries as well in the places where they live, in the communities they have built.”
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain said governments must help workers affected by the transition to clean energy.
“The process of decarbonization will produce winners and losers,” Mr. Sanchez said.
“Governments must support proactively regions and communities negatively affected, helping transform changes into opportunities. We must act collectively, and we must not leave anyone behind.”
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the energy transition presents economic opportunity.
“For too long this climate conversation has been viewed as a zero-sum game: one of trade-offs — the climate or the economy. No longer,” she said.
Ms. Granholm said the clean energy transition market will hit at least $23 trillion by 2030.
“That means that we can all remake our economies, we can build new businesses and put millions and millions of people to work,” she said.