Siemens USA CEO: Supporting bold action on infrastructure and climate

Siemens USA CEO: Supporting bold action on infrastructure and climate

By: Barbara Humpton, President and CEO, Siemens USA

In February, as infrastructure emerged as a top national priority, I shared our own priorities with government leaders

 

We’ve known about our “crumbling infrastructure” for some time. Yet the opportunity is bigger than maintenance backlogs. Infrastructure is a powerful tool to help us shape the future we want. And that’s why I voiced our support not just for rebuilding, but for transformation: for a new, broader infrastructure vision that goes well beyond roads and bridges. 

 

We now see this vision reflected in the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Jobs Plan, which I’ve described as a proposal to build for the next century of American leadership.  We’re also encouraged during this U.S. Climate Action Week to see infrastructure transformation linked to our ability to decarbonize the economy, create jobs, and increase equity. 

 

In advance of the White House’s Leaders Summit on Climate, Siemens joined more than 400 companies in signing an open letter to the Administration encouraging bold action on climate. This includes setting national targets for reducing emissions in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

Bringing bold policy objectives and leadership to climate action advances the transformative change needed for our planet, economy, and society. Which is something we’ll talk about this morning in a cross-sector panel conversation led by the groups that organized the open letter, The Climate Group, Ceres, and the We Mean Business coalition. I look forward to joining Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and business leaders representing Apple, IKEA, Ørsted, and LafargeHolcim to discuss the most effective ways for government and business to work together, and how we can speed up corporate action. 

At Siemens, our own commitment to climate action includes our 2015 pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to get us more than halfway there.

At Siemens, our own commitment to climate action includes our 2015 pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to get us more than halfway there. We’re members of three major Climate Group initiatives: EV100, leading the transition to electric vehicles; EP100, leading the adoption of net-zero carbon buildings; and RE100, which is bringing together businesses committed to 100 percent renewable energy. And, critically, Siemens has the technology to advance the goals put forward by the Administration and in the initiatives, as we make decarbonization possible across electric vehicles, power grid modernization, and buildings. 

 

And that’s where the American Jobs Plan comes in. Setting ambitious objectives and unleashing private sector innovation will advance projects of national significance and rapidly deploy green technologies at a national scale.

 

I noted in my infrastructure letter that electric vehicles (EV) will green a sector that’s the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, and the American Jobs Plan moves us in the right direction. 

In addition to investing in power grid modernization, the American Jobs Plan calls for the installation of 500,000 EV chargers across America. It also would electrify the federal fleet and install charging stations at federal facilities, exemplifying the work Siemens is committed to as part of EV100. As we endeavor to make electric mobility the new normal by 2030, Siemens has deployed more than 75,000 EV chargers nationwide and is greening our own fleet of 10,000 vehicles.

 

Another important part of the American Jobs Plan is its emphasis on immediate investment in public and federal buildings to make our indoor spaces more sustainable and healthier. Buildings produce 40 percent of all emissions globally. But by deploying data technologies and clean power systems – connecting smarter buildings to a smarter grid – we can decarbonize our built environment and even make it less expensive to operate and maintain.

 

So, as we strengthen a collective commitment to climate action this week, our hope is that the American Jobs Plan moves forward. Bipartisanship and a funding strategy encouraging U.S. investment can each produce a stronger outcome for the country. Yet what matters most is indeed bold action, and we stand ready to ensure that the United States is a leader in the new green economy. 

 

We’re all in this together. Let’s now work together across the public and private sectors to shape a world that’s more sustainable, more resilient, and more equitable.