(As Prepared for Delivery)
President Tsai, Digital Minister Tang, Distinguished Guests and friends, good morning!
Today is the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, with an estimated one billion people around the world mobilizing to commemorate it. The events of today’s Innovation Forum highlight U.S. commitment to the environment and to finding innovative solutions for combating climate change. This aligns with President Biden’s priority of placing climate change at the center of U.S. foreign policy, diplomacy, and national security.
In the first days of his administration, President Biden took executive action on tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad by rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change, committing to build modern and sustainable infrastructure, restoring scientific integrity, and re-establishing the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
AIT is also committed to finding solutions. We continue to work with Taiwan to holistically address the impacts of climate change which includes environmental protection and disaster response. This year we are increasing our support for projects related to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, which are directly impacted by global climate change.
The United States has a long history of working with Taiwan on environmental issues. For example, through the International Environmental Partnership program, or IEP, launched in 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration, and Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs work together to provide technical assistance to address environmental problems with regional partners across the Indo-Pacific.
In today’s Innovation Forum, a number of industry leaders and academics will be sharing about how their companies are developing solutions that balance business goals and environmental sustainability. The discussions will focus on three aspects: “Material and Innovation,” “Digital Transformation to Net-Zero Future,” and “Energy and Technology.” We are excited to see collaboration between U.S. and Taiwan companies in developing these solutions, whether in the form of renewable energy, development of new technologies, electric and alternative energy vehicles, architectural design and retrofitting, along with smart power management.
I hope all of the participants in today’s forum find new insights in how to address these environmental challenges. I am confident that by working together we will be able to find new innovative solutions.