Biden demands world looks to climate and energy security efforts

US President Joe Biden has told world leaders that climate security and energy security go hand in hand.

Speaking at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Biden said the Russian invasion of Ukraine had only heightened the need for countries around the world to focus on their energy security.

“Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault on its neighbour, Ukraine, has fuelled a global energy crisis and has sharpened the need to achieve long-term, reliable energy security and stability,” he explained. “And with Russia’s war driving up inflation worldwide, threatening vulnerable countries with severe food shortages, we have to work together to mitigate the immediate fallout of this crisis.

“In the United States, I’m using every lever available to me to bring down prices for the American people.  And our nations are working together to stabilize global energy markets, including coordinating the largest release from the global reserve — from global oil reserves in history.”

Biden continued: “But the critical point is that these actions are part of our transition to a clean and secure long-term energy future. And the good news is climate security and energy security go hand in hand.”

He highlighted the launch of the US-EU Task Force on Energy Security created to help the EU rapidly reduce its dependence on Russian gas and reduce the EU’s overall demand for gas by ramping up clean energy technologies.

“We’ll bolster our energy security and improve the affordability and reliability of energy around the world and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” Biden said. “Because we cannot — we cannot afford to let the critical goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius slip out of our reach. And the science tells us that the window for action is rapidly narrowing — rapidly.”

To those countries who have yet to pledge to take action Biden said the time for action was now.

“So I urge these countries that — those countries that have not yet gone to set a 2030 emissions target to align with the Paris temperature goal, to strengthen their targets for COP27.  At the same time, we need new initiatives to accelerate our progress toward our goals and bolster our resilience.”

“First, we should build upon the success of the Global Methane Pledge — now more than 115 countries strong.  To do that, we’re announcing the Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway to ramp up the speed at which we reduce methane leaks from the oil and gas sector, and also helping bridge our energy needs.

“Each year, our existing energy system leaks enough methane to meet the needs for the entire European power sector.  We flare enough gas to offset nearly all of the EU’s gas imports from Russia.  And so, by stopping the leaking and flaring of this super-potent greenhouse gas, and capturing this resource for countries that need it, we’re addressing two problems at once.

“Second, we’re investing in innovation and hastening the scale-up of new technologies like carbon capture and advanced nuclear and clean hydrogen.  The International Energy Agency says we need 90 billion dollars’ worth of demonstration projects for this decade.  And thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was passed here in the United States, we’re stepping up with a $21.5 billion contribution toward this goal.”

He continued: “Third, Russia’s war is driving up prices of gas — everybody knows that — hurting people in all our countries.  It’s an immediate problem that I suspect all of you and I know I’m working every day.

“Over the long run, we can remove the pain of volatile gas prices and reduce transportation emissions by putting more zero-emission cars on the road. “
“Fourth, if ocean-based shipping were a country, it would be the eighth-largest emitter in the world.  It’s critical we do more to promote zero-emission fuels and green shipping corridors in this sector.  And it seems to me we ought to be able to do that.  That’s why the United States and Norway are launching the Green Shipping Challenge to fully decarbonize shipping by 2050.

“And finally, Russia’s war in Ukraine is worsening food insecurity, in part due to the skyrocketing price of fertilizer. Fertilizer production relies on natural gas, but more than 50 percent of nitrogen fertilizers are lost globally every year due to waste.”

In response Biden announced that the United States is launching a new Global Fertilizer Challenge.  It aims to raise at least $100 million toward increasing fertilizer efficiency and developing alternatives by COP27.

“These are all achievable goals, in my view.  And if we all commit to doing our part, we’ll get it done,” Biden added.  “And if we do, we’ll unlock incredible opportunities for all our people around the world: more growth, more innovation, more better-paying jobs that support working families, greater food security for communities around the world, and we’ll finally break our dependence on the volatile energy markets and high gas prices.”

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