It works like a lesson for the future.

In a voluntary declaration, American solar companies write: "We hereby undertake to help ensure that the solar supply chain is free from forced labor and to raise awareness of this important topic in our industry."

The initiative is primarily directed against the forced labor of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region, the center of the Chinese solar industry.

The US government accuses Beijing of “genocide” against the Muslim minority.

But if Biden has his way, the import of Chinese solar cells will hardly be necessary in the future anyway - despite a climate policy that is more ambitious than ever.

The USA is already getting the majority of its solar cells not from China, but from Malaysia and Vietnam.

Biden's guideline: He wants to reduce dependence on countries like China, break ties and then increase domestic production in order to bring jobs back to the USA.


Biden chooses the fight against climate change as the basic theme for his new world politics. Today, Thursday and Friday, he is inviting 40 foreign heads of state and government to a virtual climate summit - including the 17 nations that are responsible for 80 percent of all greenhouse gases. It is anything but a harmonious circle. The presidents of China and Russia, including Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who is not generally known as an environmentalist, have been invited. Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have also agreed.

The meeting is intended to prepare for the major UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November and is at the top of Biden's agenda.

On the day of his inauguration, he led the United States back into the Paris climate agreement, which his predecessor Donald Trump had terminated.

He named ex-Secretary of State John Kerry as Cabinet-level climate commissioner.

During the summit, Biden wants to announce an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gases by 2030.

The US President talks about climate change almost every day.

Yet he, a power politician for half a century, is anything but a green ethic who cares about jobs.

The president is building his climate policy on a new foundation for the USA.


In his eyes, America's future as the most powerful country in the world depends on how innovatively the US is fighting climate change. They can only survive in a pioneering role. President Biden sees green technology not as a job killer, but as a job creator. To put it bluntly, the objective is: If we don't make headway in the fight against climate change, if we don't create millions of jobs, the US, as a geopolitical actor, can pack up.

In any case, one cannot blame him for a lack of ambition. "Biden's climate policy is infrastructure policy, industrial policy, economic policy with the aim of real transformation," says Bastian Hermisson, head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Washington, which is closely related to the Greens. For America this is a "turning point". Europe threatens to be left behind if it does not go along with it. "Then the US and China will be the drivers of innovation in the 21st century, and we'll watch from the sidelines," said Hermisson.

Biden even wants to tighten the goals formulated at the Paris climate summit in 2015.

The US wants to cut its emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases by at least half compared to 2005 levels by 2030.

The US wants to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Biden even wants to make the electricity sector emission-free by 2035.

To this end, the president is proposing a two billion infrastructure package.

Around 174 billion dollars (145 billion euros) will flow into half a million charging stations for electric cars.

Fewer electric cars than in Germany


So far, e-cars have only had a market share of two percent in the USA.

In Germany, more e-cars were sold last year than in the USA.

The power grid is to be modernized with 100 billion dollars, the ailing railways with around 80 billion dollars.

Millions of houses are also to be fitted with solar panels and insulated.

US President Joe Biden visits a solar plant in New Hamptshire


The US has long been watching suspiciously as China is consolidating its geopolitical role with infrastructure exports.

Beijing builds railways and roads all over the world, exports vaccines against Covid and can be paid for with raw materials and a say.

So with power.

The USA has a lot of catching up to do here.

Accordingly, Biden's confidante John Kerry prepared the climate summit carefully, with personal discussions with the governments of India, China, Bangladesh and the EU, among others.

China announced last year that it would become climate neutral by 2060.

In reality, however, Beijing continues to rely on coal-fired power plants and is even building its plants in Eastern Europe.

That alone should be enough motivation for the USA to create a new offer for the world market.