Good evening. It is a pleasure to join you at the Swiss-U.S. Energy Innovation days on behalf of the U.S. Embassy, particularly at a time where the world’s energy future is so uncertain and cooperation is more important than ever.
As many of you know, the unprecedented and unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine has made energy and energy security a top priority for the United States and so many around the world. As our environment, both political and physical, shift, we need to be prepared to shift accordingly and face new challenges through creativity and innovation.
President Biden has been clear that, “Climate change is an existential threat to our nation and to the world.” Therefore, the United States is committed to working with our friends like Switzerland to achieve our shared goal of reaching net-zero by 2050.
Thanks to Director Benoît Revaz, who unfortunately could not be here, and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy staff, Swissnex, and many other partners for putting on such an important event this week.
It is so welcome to see Swiss leadership and innovation in this sector. I would also like to thank the U.S. institutions, businesses, and associations for coming to Switzerland and participating in this event. Together, we can move more effectively to secure the important energy that is needed, while also making the transition to cleaner and more renewables.
Ambassador Scott Miller asked me to come and speak on his behalf tonight, as he is working to advance our understanding and dynamic action on this top priority. Ambassador Miller traveled throughout Switzerland just a few weeks ago as part of the U.S. Embassy’s “Energy Week” initiative to better understand the energy landscape.
The Ambassador and Director Revaz discussed how the United States and Switzerland can serve as models for innovation and achieve net-zero together. American technology is being used to help power Switzerland’s transition to renewables. Also, a U.S company, General Electric, provides the turbines at a massive, one-thousand-megawatt pump storage power plant in Linthal-Limmern.
I know Switzerland has opted for a different direction, but it is also worth mentioning how impressed the Ambassador was by the Gösgen nuclear power plant. He noted the dozens of safeguards in place to protect everyone, as well as the facility’s dedication to clean energy solutions. It singlehandedly powers thirteen percent of Switzerland’s electricity needs, which will be a major advantage in this complicated time. The United States looks to partner with Switzerland to ensure the energy transition here in the coming years is a smooth one.
You may have seen last week the United States Senate passed legislation for the largest investment ever in combatting climate change. As the White House recently stated, “the Inflation Reduction Act addresses the climate crisis and strengthens our energy security, creating jobs manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. And it will lower families’ energy costs by hundreds of dollars each year.”
I want to thank everyone present for contributing to the strength of the U.S.-Swiss relationship, particularly in reinforcing our energy cooperation, advances, and innovation.
I look forward to furthering our discussion about what more the United States and Switzerland can do together to meet our energy security and climate goals in the years to come.