When it comes to mitigating the potentially catastrophic effects of global climate change, we stand at a cross-roads. “Will we do what is necessary? Will we seize the enormous opportunity before us? Or will we condemn future generations to suffer?” said President Joe Biden at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as the COP26. “Climate change is already ravaging the world.
“It’s not a hypothetical threat. It’s destroying people’s lives and livelihoods and doing it every single day. It’s costing our nations trillions of dollars. Record heat and drought are fueling more widespread and more intense wildfires in some places and crop failures in others. Record flooding and what used to be a once-in-a-century storms are now happening every few years.”
But there is a positive aspect to this very dark cloud. “Within the growing catastrophe, there’s an incredible opportunity,” said President Biden.
“ We’re standing at an inflection point in world history. We have the ability to… build an equitable clean-energy future and in the process create millions of good-paying jobs and opportunities around the world — cleaner air for our children, bountiful oceans, healthier forests and ecosystems for our planet. We can create an environment that raises the standard of living around the world.”
By prioritizing clean energy manufacturing, including solar panels and wind turbines, we are growing energy markets of the future. “It’s about jobs,” said President Biden.
“It’s about workers who will lay thousands of miles of transmission lines of clean, modern, resilient power grid. The autoworkers who will build the next generation of electric vehicles and electricians who will install a nationwide network of 500,000 vehicle stations to power them throughout my country. The engineers who will design new carbon capture systems, and the construction workers who will make them a reality. The farmers who will not only help fight global hunger but also use the soil to fight climate change. The communities that will revitalize themselves around new industries and opportunities.”
“This is the challenge of our collective lifetimes. The existential threat to human existence as we know it. And every day we delay, the cost of inaction increases,” said President Biden.
“So let this be the moment that we answer history’s call here in Glasgow. Let this be the start of decade of transformative action that preserves our planet and raises the quality of life for people everywhere.”