[On the U.S.-Chinese relationship and climate change] There is absolutely no way that the world can meet its climate goals without the United States and China both acting aggressively on climate change. That won’t be easy, both because of the backdrop of the broader relationship and because it will only be possible if both countries understand the scale and speed of change that’s necessary. We’re not simply going to go back to where we were before, given where the two countries are at now. But it’s going to be very important to be able to ﬁnd a modus vivendi, where there are areas of disagreement and competition, but also areas where we can collaborate. Global problems are an area where we should be trying to collaborate, and climate change is certainly one of those.
[On long-term climate goals] That translates into something like a net zero carbon world by 2050. And to do that is going to require tremendous mobilization, a transformation to a clean energy economy, at speed and scale. And so when Biden talks about wanting to invest $2 trillion in the ﬁrst four years for climate, about trying to get to a carbon-free electricity system by 2035, about net zero by 2050—all of those things make it clear that, at this point, he is thinking at the scale of what needs to be done and acted on, in a way that is very encouraging.
...Biden is on the [climate] program and can help lead other countries as well. The ﬁrst step for the United States, internationally, will be to demonstrate that the United States is back on the program, back in Paris, and committed to the right things, because for the last four years, the world has seen the United States walk away.
[On sectoral climate action and the costs of inaction] It’s got to be a set of policies and actions that bring about fundamental change in power, transport, industry, buildings. The economic impact of this kind of move would be enormously positive. People think, “Oh, it’s going to cost so much. Oh, it’s going to be so hard.” On any kind of net basis, we will greatly improve the economy if we act aggressively. It’s absolutely going to cost money, but it’s going to cost less money than not acting.