Suzanne P. Clark Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


December 01, 2023


The world is gathering in Dubai for the United Nations annual climate conference, COP28.  And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is leading the largest-ever U.S. business delegation to a COP.       

Why? Because climate change is a serious threat that cannot be solved without the investment, collaboration and innovation of the private sector. We’re in the business of delivering solutions, and when it comes to building a clean and sustainable economy, that work is well underway. In just the last two years, private companies have announced $346 billion of investments for electric vehicles and batteries, clean energy manufacturing and clean power projects.  

Long term success will require both private sector solutions and smart, balanced policies that encourage further investment and foster innovation. COP28 provides a critical opportunity to advance practical, effective solutions.   

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry frequently says to business audiences, “We can’t do this without you.” He’s right. Those who are serious about tackling this global challenge recognize that the private sector must be at the table—including the very energy companies that must simultaneously meet the growing global demand for energy while leading the innovation to help address climate change.  

Over the last 18 months, more than 130 companies, from start-ups to large multinationals, have joined U.S. Chamber-led GreenTech Business Delegations to Egypt, the UAE, and Brazil, in close partnership with multiple U.S. government agencies and financing organizations. These missions have explored investment opportunities and created pathways for cooperation on issues ranging from renewables to hydrogen, biofuels, industrial decarbonization, carbon capture and food and water security.  

Private sector opportunities are being fueled by recent actions such as the Energy Act of 2020, the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the energy and climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. But barriers to fully realizing these opportunities remain, and the Chamber is working to remove them.  

Perhaps the biggest single barrier is America’s outdated permitting process, where getting a yes or no answer on a federal permit averages more than 4.5 years, with many projects taking far longer than that. It should never take longer to get a permit than it does to build the project.  The Chamber’s Permit America to Build campaign urges Congress to act—because the only way to build the energy, water, transportation, and broadband projects that are so desperately needed is to fix this broken system that underpins them. Of course, permitting alone will not solve this problem. Other challenges include workforce, supply chain and trade policy, all areas in which the Chamber has recognized expertise and is hard at work.  

Viewing this issue solely through a domestic lens is missing the big picture. With conflict in the Middle East and Russia’s continued war in Ukraine, America is supplying the energy resources needed to keep the global economy running with minimal disruption. U.S. energy production delivers a trifecta of benefits—economic advantages to families and businesses, energy security dividends to allies and partners around the world, and substantial greenhouse gas emissions reduction. We can and must provide energy security at home and for our global allies and partners, while helping accelerate the clean energy transition. These priorities are not mutually exclusive.  

COP28 is the next step on the journey toward a cleaner and more sustainable future. Businesses are working every day to deliver climate solutions, and we stand ready to meet this challenge. 

About the authors

Suzanne P. Clark

Suzanne P. Clark

As President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Clark heads strategy, government relations and market innovation to support member companies and businesses.

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