U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks about the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack during a White House press briefing on May 11, 2021 in Washington.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Wednesday that climate change has become a personal phenomenon for a third of Americans this summer.
“Our hair must be on fire,” Granholm said during an event at Climate Week NYC. “We’ve had a summer – we’ve all seen it – when nearly one in three Americans has now gone through a climate disaster.”
A spokesperson for the Energy Ministry said Granholm was referring to a An analysis from the Washington Post, published earlier this month in Federal Disaster Declarations, showed that nearly a third of Americans live in a county that was hit by a weather disaster in a three-month period. These include the thermal dome in the northwest, flash floods, droughts and forest fires.
“There’s no way we’re going to press the snooze button on climate action. It’s not going to ring our alarm clock. It’s a red fire alarm code for humanity, ”said Granholm, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. noted.”
Urgent efforts to decarbonize global industries will be costly and ultimately create jobs, Grenholm said on Wednesday.
“By the end of this decade, the global market for clean energy and carbon reduction technologies will reach at least $ 23 trillion,” said Granholm. “And so we want to corner that market by creating clean energy supply chains and solutions that come from the United States with American labor here.”
These jobs will be located across the United States and will vary according to the skills required, he said. The Energy Department is also working to ensure that these jobs are represented by unions, Granholm said.
“The president really feels that work has built his country, he has built the middle class, and what we have learned over the past decades is that when the union community weakens, inequalities increase. ” That’s it, ”said Granholm. .
Granholm said the United States could see clean energy transition jobs for engineers, maintenance workers, pipe fitters, plasterers, painters, plumbers, carpenters, masons, boilermakers, construction workers, automobile, blacksmiths, linemen and travelers.
He added that fossil fuel workers will also have the opportunity to switch to clean energy jobs.
“We believe that clean energy jobs that offer a chance to join a union will solve this inequality problem,” said Granholm. “It will raise millions of families into the middle class.”
And the job needs to be done quickly, she said.
“We had our biggest year last year in terms of installed gigawatts of wind and solar power, but we need to double, triple, quadruple that amount,” said Granholm. “So we can’t relax, it’s all about deploying and getting that clean energy on the grid. “