Administrator Samantha Power’s Intervention G7 Ministerial Sustainable Recovery Part 2(c): Climate Change

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

As Prepared

I’d like to begin by acknowledging our hosts, the UK, for their continued leadership on climate in the G7.

Like COVID-19, the climate crisis threatens every inch of progress we make in efforts to build long-term prosperity and secure the individual dignity of the communities we serve. The science is clear—the world needs to significantly increase the scale and speed of climate action to stave off the worst effects of a warming planet. We are grateful that here at the G7, it has remained a top priority.

In President Biden’s first 100 days in office, we rejoined the Paris Agreement and hosted 40 world leaders in a Summit on Climate, paving the way to raise global ambitions and confront climate change head-on before it’s too late. And what’s true around the world is true at home: The burden of these events falls disproportionately on the backs of the least-privileged. Low-income communities; Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities; women and children.

Leading by example, President Biden announced that the U.S. will aim to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas pollution by 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030. And to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This is an ambitious goal - the kind we will all need to set if we are realistically going to make an impact.

At the Leaders’ Summit, the White House announced a new Global Climate Ambition initiative to support partner countries in establishing net-zero carbon strategies, bolstering adaptation strategies, and reporting on their progress under the Paris Agreement. The United States has committed to a robust set of activities as part of this effort, including: engaging strategically with governments, the private sector, civil society, and communities to support transformational policies and programs; building human and institutional capacity; accelerating research in climate-smart agriculture; working with emerging economies and vulnerable countries to attract $3.5 billion in private finance to address the climate crisis over the next three years; and creating momentum toward a zero-emissions, climate-resilient future. In my last point, I would wish to note something we must all bear in mind in budget-constrained environments: investments in adaptation and resilience reduces the potential need for humanitarian assistance by a factor of 3. In other words, you either invest $1 now in adaptation and resilience or have to pay $3 when extreme weather or other climate crises hit.

USAID is also committed to reforesting and protecting a cumulative 20 million hectares by 2025 for natural climate solutions through commercial private sector investments that sequester and store carbon on a sustainable basis.

Just as we partnered six years ago to lead nearly 200 countries to reach the most ambitious agreement in history to combat the climate crisis, I am confident that we can set our sights even higher.

G7 countries produce a quarter of the world’s emissions, making our leadership critical in rallying the rest of the world to set and meet more ambitious goals.

Last updated: October 20, 2021

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