Pritzker touts Illinois’ clean energy plan at climate summit


Governor J.B. Pritzker is wrapping up his time overseas, touting Illinois’ clean energy plan on the international level.

Referencing climate change concerns, world leaders say progress has been made but much more work is needed. On Monday, Pritzker was among the U.S. governors who talked about steps they were taking.

“In America’s heartland lies a state that’s taking strides to match the urgency of this moment,” Pritzker said.

Governor J.B. Pritzker in Glasgow told the United Nations Climate Change Conference about Illinois’ new clean energy law and economic development opportunities.

Last summer, Springfield signed off on legislation that sets a goal for Illinois to move to 100% clean energy by 2050 and establishes deadlines for shutting down coal and natural gas power plants.

The law also promises thousands of new jobs.

“This is about economic development as much as it’s about saving our planet,” Pritzker said. “We’re open for business in the state of Illinois for climate friendliness.”

In remarks at the conference, Former President Obama said the U.S. government, under President Biden, is once again engaged in the international effort to combat climate change.

“The U.S. is back,” Obama said.

Obama also threw an elbow at former President Trump for, as he put it, “active hostility towards climate science.”

“Some of our success stalled when my successor decided to unilaterally pull out of the Paris agreement in his first year in office,” Obama said. “And yet, the determination of our state and local governments along with the regulation and the investments that my administration had already put in place allowed our country to keep moving forward despite hostility from the White House.”

The former president also called out China and Russia, two of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gas, over their decision not to attend the meeting.

Speaking to young people worldwide, Obama pushed them to make climate change an issue that transcends politics.

“Saving the planet isn’t a partisan issue,” Obama said.

The former president noted the most important energy in the climate change movement is coming from young people. He urged them to vote on the issue. Officials added that more ambitious climate change plans wouldn’t come from the government unless the administration feels pressure.

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