IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

White House announces international efforts to combat climate change at Americas summit

The moves include partnering with Caribbean countries to strengthen energy security and new commitments on renewable energy and reforestation in the region.
Image: Joe Biden
Joe Biden speaks Wednesday at opening ceremony of the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are announcing new initiatives Thursday at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles that aim to combat climate change while creating jobs throughout the hemisphere.

The initiatives "will help us and our partners tackle the climate crisis while harnessing the opportunity for countries in the region to create good-paying jobs, grow clean energy economies and build resilient communities,” a senior administration official said ahead of the announcement.

Harris will be launching an effort with Caribbean countries to help them fight the effects of climate change while developing cleaner energy alternatives and reducing emissions. The U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 will help improve access to development financing in the area and invest in clean energy projects, the White House said.

The president, meanwhile, will announce that five new countries are joining 15 others in an initiative that promotes trade and investment in clean energy and encourages regional collaboration. Countries in the initiative have a collective target of increasing the share of regional electricity generated with renewable energy to 70 percent by 2030.

Biden is also announcing that the U.S. will provide $12 million to support reforestation efforts in Brazil, Colombia and Peru through an initiative called Amazonia Connect. "This plan is focused around reducing carbon emissions from these critical carbon sinks," the official said.

The president will meet Thursday with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — a noted climate change skeptic — where they "will reaffirm the importance of our strategic partnership on issues such as combatting the climate crisis and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic," the president said.

Biden touted the benefits of going green during a speech at the summit Wednesday night and said the international partnership will help "tackle the climate crisis head on."

"When I hear climate, I think jobs," he said. "Good-paying, high-quality jobs will help speed our transition to a green economy of the future and unleash sustainable growth: jobs in developing and deploying clean energy, jobs in decarbonizing the economy, jobs in protecting biodiversity of our hemisphere, jobs that provide dignity of being able to feed your family, give your children a better life."

The president will also hold a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday, and he and first lady Jill Biden will host a dinner for the heads of state attending the summit at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles.