Joe Biden: 'When I look at climate change I see jobs'

US president tells Cop26 of potential economic benefits from green recovery

US President Joe Biden has said that building up the world's climate infrastructure “can and should” drive a sustainable economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing a side event on infrastructure development and climate action at Cop26 in Glasgow, Mr Biden said there was enormous economic potential in building a greener world while fighting global warming and leaving behind a more liveable planet.

“When I look at climate and dealing with climate change, I see jobs. Good jobs, economic development. That’s what I see,” he said on Tuesday.

“It can spur the creation of good jobs in the developing world just like it can in the developed world. Our global transition to a net-zero economy is predicated on 30 million new jobs worldwide by 2030.”

The International Energy Agency says the transition to net-zero could lead to 30 million jobs in the energy sector.

“This climate crisis is an enormous opportunity. It's about jobs, it's about building the industries of the future, it’s about making sure everyone shares the benefits of an equitable and sustainable green recovery,” Mr Biden said.

On Tuesday, the Biden administration was also announcing a plan to slash emissions of the greenhouse gas methane across the US, starting with oil and gas wells, pipelines and other infrastructure as part of its broader strategy to crack down on climate change.

At Cop26, Mr Biden also backed a major, multinational declaration to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

On Monday, he highlighted the urgency of the matter, calling for action now and without delay. He called for “a decade of transformative action” to preserve the planet and boost the quality of life for people everywhere.

But he also underlined the potential economic benefits, arguing: “Within the growing catastrophe I believe there's an incredible opportunity — not just for the United States, but for all of us.”

He said there was an opportunity “to invest in ourselves and build an equitable, clean-energy future and in the process create millions of good paying jobs and opportunities around the world".

He acknowledged that America and other developed nations bear much of the responsibility for climate change, and apologised for his predecessor Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

Updated: November 02, 2021, 4:14 PM