The United States is hurtling toward slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, an ambition that demonstrates “our country is investing in itself,” a lifelong public servant told a rapt audience of consular corps and additional guests on October 19.
Gina McCarthy — climate change advisor to President Joe Biden through late 2022, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama and co-chair of a countrywide coalition of climate change leaders who are placing the issue front and center — told WorldBoston’s 14th Annual Consuls Reception on October 19 that the future is bright, the country is committed, and she has every reason to continue fighting this battle.
“You’ll never tell me not to be optimistic,” McCarthy said at the reception held in the Harborview Room of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “This is what I live for.”
Citing the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, McCarthy said progress already has resulted from the aggregate $512 billion investment that will help the nation reach its climate pursuits. More than 107,000 clean energy jobs have been created and they’re dispersed among 44 US states.
And most of those states are Republican, the public servant to Republican and Democrat leaders noted.
“This is people, not politics,” McCarthy said, calling herself “an unabashed optimist.”
Consuls General to Boston and New England from more than 30 countries were in attendance at the event and McCarthy pointed to France, Canada and Germany as some of the biggest supporters of the world’s push toward clean energy.
But she also noted an obstruction has manifested in the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, which is hobbled by its recent inability to elect a speaker, some representatives’ desire to shut down the government, and climate change deniers being among its ranks.
Presently merging efforts with Michael Bloomberg as co-chairs of America is All In, McCarthy emphasized the importance of implementing new technologies as part of the modern-day push, also noting this is buoying her efforts.
‘I am keeping my eyes on the prize,” she said. “Our country is investing in itself.”
She placed a focus on financial institutions, noting that multilateral development banks can play key roles in the push toward clean energy.
She also pointed to the World Bank as a potential key stakeholder, stating the international development lender is an influential source that can help bring about needed change with some of its member nations.
“Change happens from the bottom up,” she said. '‘We need to get serious in investing in developing countries.”