Washington, DC…Hi everybody. One of the things that makes America great is our passion for innovation – that spirit of discovery and entrepreneurship that helps us meet any challenge. One of the greatest challenges of our time is climate change. Over the last seven years, we’ve made historic investments in clean energy that helped private sector companies create tens of thousands of good jobs. And today, clean power from the wind or the sun is actually cheaper in many communities than dirtier, conventional power. It’s helped grow our economy and cut our total carbon pollution more than any other country on earth.
That leadership helped bring nearly 200 nations together in Paris around the most ambitious climate agreement in history. And in Paris, we also launched one of the most important partnerships ever assembled to accelerate this kind of clean energy innovation around the world. Investors and business leaders including Bill Gates, Meg Whitman, and Mark Zuckerberg joined us, pledging their own money to help advance new technologies to the market.
That’s important because we’ll only meet this challenge if the private sector helps lead the way.
As I said in my State of the Union address, rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future. That’s why the budget I will send to Congress this Tuesday will double funding for clean energy research and development by 2020. This will include new investments to help the private sector create more jobs faster, lower the cost of clean energy faster, and help clean, renewable power outcompete dirty fuels in every state.
And while Republicans in Congress are still considering their position on climate change, many of them realize that clean energy is an incredible source of good-paying jobs for their constituents. That’s why we were able to boost clean energy research and development in last year’s budget agreement. And I hope they support my plan to double that kind of investment.
Because it’s making a difference across the country. In Idaho, our Battery Test Center is helping electric cars run longer on a single charge. In Ohio, entrepreneurs are pioneering new ways to harness wind power from the Great Lakes. In Tennessee, researchers are partnering with utilities to boost storage and solar power to create a more resilient electric grid.
The point is, all across the country, folks are putting their differences aside to face this challenge as one. Washington should do the same. That’s how we’re going to solve this challenge – together. And that’s how we’re going to give our kids and grandkids the future they deserve – one with a safe, secure, and prosperous planet.
Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.