Remarks at the UN Second Committee Side Event: “Energy Transition for Sustainable Development and Climate Action”

Nicholas Hill
Deputy U.S. Representative to ECOSOC
New York, New York
October 19, 2021


Thank you, Madame Chair, for convening this event.

A rapidly changing climate already threatens the energy security of billions of people. No longer can the world rely on the unabated use of fossil fuels to meet our energy needs.

We must make the transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to transitioning to clean energy, cutting emissions, and promoting sustainable development for all.

At the Leader’s Summit on Climate in April, the United States announced an enhanced nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Altogether, countries representing 55 percent of global GDP announced 2030 emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. These targets are aligned with keeping a 1.5 degree Celsius limit to temperature rise within reach.

The United States is working toward 100 percent carbon-emission free electricity production by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. We are launching a series of Earthshots Initiatives to drive down the costs of clean energy technologies, including in clean hydrogen, a technology that can decarbonize industries outside the power sector.

Through initiatives such as Build Back Better World, or B3W, we are also supporting the clean energy transition in emerging economies around the world to reduce emissions and facilitate sustainable development.

All these developments demonstrate that the United States is committed to a clean energy agenda that drives sustainability, economic growth, and a host of new jobs.

The United States also recently convened the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, attended by heads of state and government ministers from around the world as well as UN and EU representatives. Many of the participants announced their support for the Global Methane Pledge, to be launched at COP26 in Glasgow in a few weeks. This pledge would reduce global methane emissions by at least 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030.

Recent announcements made by Special Envoy for Climate Kerry, President Biden’s pledge on climate financing, and the Global Methane Pledge are designed to lay the groundwork for a successful COP26, a conference that represents a pivotal moment for us to address the climate crisis. No country alone can solve this crisis. We are working together with our allies and partners to make progress on mitigating the worst effects of climate change. We call on all countries to uphold their climate change commitments and targets.

Thank you.