Judith G. Garber
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
December 12, 2018
President of COP 24, Excellencies, and Distinguished Delegates; I am so pleased to be with you today. I am grateful to our gracious hosts here in Poland for their hospitality, excellent preparation, and leadership.
The United States supports a balanced approach that promotes economic growth, improves energy security, and protects the environment.
The U.S. record of accomplishment and leadership is clear: Our energy-related CO2 emissions have fallen by 14 percent since 2005, even as our economy has grown by over 19 percent.
As President Trump announced last year, the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, absent the identification of terms that are more favorable to the American people. He also made clear that the United States will continue to be a leader in clean energy, innovation, and emissions reduction. Our National Security Strategy declares “The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while expanding our economy. This achievement, which can serve as a model to other countries, flows from innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation.”
The global climate conversation needs to embrace not only aspiration but today’s reality. The U.S. approach incorporates the realities of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies as cleanly and efficiently as possible, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy.
This diverse energy portfolio is possible thanks to early stage research and development and private sector finance and innovation.
A quarter of our energy-sector CO2 reduction has come from utilizing natural gas. The U.S. natural gas boom is the result of years of U.S. innovation and R&D investment. General Electric, the U.S. National Laboratories, and American entrepreneurs all played a role in perfecting the extraction techniques that unleashed America’s natural gas revolution.
R&D and operational experience are bringing down the cost of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage or CCUS. One hybrid coal and gas power plant in Texas captures more than 90 percent of the emissions from its flue gas stream. CCUS enhances our energy security and economic development and preserves the environment.
The United States is home to the world’s largest nuclear power industry. Thanks to significant investment by the U.S. Department of Energy and the private sector, the first Small Modular Reactors will be operational by the mid-2020s. They will be flexible, scalable, easier to finance, and capable of powering remote areas and micro-grids.
In 2017, the United States exported more advanced energy technology than any other country in the world. The United States is also the world’s largest oil and gas producer and the second largest producer of renewable energy.
In 2018, the United States announced new R&D funding in nuclear, solar, marine, and fossil energy. We are making significant progress in Smart Grids, advanced storage technologies, wind, and hydropower.
In sum, the United States will continue to engage our many partner countries and allies around the world to reduce emissions, to continue to adapt to climate change, and to respond to natural disasters. We will also work with other countries to develop and deploy a broad array of technologies, as we continue to promote economic growth, improve energy security, and protect the environment.