Fri. Jan 27th, 2023

Brussels, 22 April 2021

Thank you very much, dear President Biden,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

A little over five years ago, the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement. Today, we have to strengthen that global unity around ambitious new goals. Because this will be the ‘make or break’ decade for our climate. Therefore, I want to thank President Biden for convening this meeting on Earth Day.

The Paris Agreement is humanity’s life insurance. At the COP26 in Glasgow, we must show that we all have understood this and that we are ready for more climate action. Because we are getting dangerously close to 1.5 degrees of global warming. Science tells us it is not too late yet, but we must hurry up.

This is what Europe is doing. 11 days after taking office, my Commission launched the European Green Deal for transforming our economy. Yesterday, we agreed Europe’s first ever Climate Law with the European Parliament and our 27 governments, as Angela Merkel mentioned. With this, we write into stone the goal set out by the European Green Deal – to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.

We also have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. In June, my Commission will table proposals to make Europe ‘Fit for 55′. We will make emission trading work – not only for energy generation and industry – but also for transport and for buildings. Carbon must have its price – because nature cannot pay the price any longer.

But ‘Fit for 55′ is not just about emissions. We will safeguard our nature and enhance biodiversity, going for nature-based solutions wherever possible. And we will ensure that all this is done in a just and inclusive way. Because for our ambition to succeed, we must leave nobody behind.

Climate action is also a massive opportunity for our economies. It creates new markets. It mobilises investment in new and transforming industries, and it unleashes innovation for a healthier and more prosperous future. This is why 30% of Europe’s Recovery Plan – NextGenerationEU, Mario Draghi mentioned it –, altogether EUR 1.8 trillion, is earmarked for climate-related goals.

The fight against climate change will be the engine for our global recovery. And it will be our compass for cooperation with all of you in many areas. In research, innovation and breakthrough technologies through forums like Mission Innovation. Or in helping vulnerable countries to become resilient to climate change.

Europe wants to be the first climate-neutral continent in the world. But to save the climate, we need the world. We need all major economies to take their responsibility and to turn the transition into an opportunity for all. Let us set together a new global benchmark for climate neutrality. Let us work together on a shared commitment and joint action for reducing emissions by 2030. This puts us on a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050. That is what our planet needs.

Thank you again, President Biden, for this meeting. It is so good to have the U.S. back on our side in the fight against climate change. Together, we can go faster and get further. Together, we will win the future.

Thanks a lot.


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