Thank you all very much for being here. It is true that I have been to each one of these openings of the China Pavilion. It is because of the importance of China as a leader of the world community. I will say that it is also because of my deep personal respect for Xie Zhenhua. I have worked for many many years on the climate crisis. There is no more valued partner than Mr. Xie. If there were just a few more of him, climate crisis would be solved. He is a humble man, and represents the national interests of China extremely well, and he’s very skillful in the negotiations.
He’s also become a personal friend over the years. We have known each other for 25 years almost. When I first gave a presentation at the Great Hall of the People on the climate crisis, we were both young men then, but he's still younger than me. And I still value his advice as I would value the advice of an older brother. Thank you very much for your hard work, for all of the time you have invested in mastering the complexities of the climate crisis and the solutions.
I also want to acknowledge my dear friend, Wang Shi, who is a leader in the business community in China and in the world. We have worked together for several years and together hosted a meeting of the largest urban developers in China for two days in Beijing and developed a set of principles for climate responsible development. And all of the largest property developers and urban designers in China agreed to these principles. And then the government said, ok, we're going to codify these in law. So, those are only some of the fruits of our work together. And I want to thank Wang Shi and the Vanke Foundation for hosting this event.
This is a difficult Conference of the Parties, but I am optimistic that at its conclusion, we will see progress being made as we have almost all of these conferences. The period of time between the Paris Agreement and the 2020 review period, when all nations will be asked to increase their ambition is a critical time. And the adoption of a rule book here, transparency principles and other items on the agenda are very important. I know the Secretary General of the United Nations was here yesterday and is coming back tonight and will be here tomorrow as well. And I'm very grateful to him for that.
I want to praise China's leadership and endorse some of the points made by Xie Zhenhua. China is one of the few countries on track to meet its Paris commitments and has already exceeded some of its own targets on renewables. China has become a global leader in financing renewable energy, having accounted for 40% of global clean energy investment in calendar year 2017, China invested over 40 billion dollars in clean energy around the world in 2017 from all sources.
And last year, China by itself added more solar electric generation 53 gigawatts than any other country had in total at that time. Remarkably, China also accounted for around 60% of all global solar cell production. So, the world would not be as far along as it is in solving the climate crisis, except for what China has done.
It has also invested in a range of additional fields, including wind power, electric cars and buses. Shanghai and Shenzhen are already buying only electric buses. Other cities around the world are budging to reach that milestone soon. Energy storage is also a prominent field of Chinese investments. And the introduction of a new emissions trading market in some sectors with the intention to expand to other sectors is also a very important accomplishment.
There are a host of other parallel programs and initiatives promoting low carbon development in Chinese cities. I also wish to endorse Mr. Xie’s comments about the relationship between economic development and the reduction of carbon emissions.
And I would like to give you a few examples from my country, the number one fastest growing job in the United States of America is solar installers. These jobs are growing nine times faster than the average job growth in the United States. The number two fastest growing job in the United States is wind turbine technician.
The world is now in the early stages of what can be described as a sustainability revolution. And it is based on the new tools that engineers and business leaders have available to them, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things, big data, supercomputing. These tools are giving business teams the ability to manage electrons, atoms and molecules with the same precision that the information technology companies have used in managing bits of information.
This sustainability revolution has the magnitude of the industrial revolution with the speed of the digital revolution. And it is transforming business and industrial activities in every sector of the economy. I must say, also, however, that our world is running out of time. We are still putting one hundred ten million tons of man-made heat trapping global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day.
After three years of stabilized emissions, emissions started going up again last year, 1.7 percent. And this year, at least according to the statistics of measuring the first nine months of this year, the emissions have gone up 2.7 percent. And it is, after all, not just the annual additions to the global warming pollution in the atmosphere. It is the accumulated amount, because on average, this global warming pollution stays in the atmosphere for very long periods of time, much of it for a thousand years and more.
And the cumulative amount that we have put into the atmosphere now traps as much extra heat energy as would be released by five hundred thousand Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every day. This extra heat energy is melting the North Pole in winter. It is melting the ice on Greenland and Antarctica and threatening to radically accelerate sea level rise, threatening areas like Guangzhou, Shanghai, Miami, New York, Newark, and not to mention Kolkata, Mumbai, West Africa, the low-lying pacific island nations and the delta Bangladesh, countless regions where our coastal species have built cities and villages and homes and farms.
We are seeing temperatures increased quite dramatically. Seventeen of the eighteen hottest years ever measured have been in the last eighteen years. In a few weeks, the scientists will add 2018 to that list. And we will say eighteen of the nineteen hottest years have happened in the last nineteen years. We are seeing temperatures reach extremely high levels in some areas of Pakistan, India, the Middle East and North Africa.
And this extra heat energy is disrupting the water cycle upon which life depends because more than 90% of the heat energy goes into the oceans of the world. And that increases dramatically the water vapor coming from the oceans into the sky. The atmospheric rivers that carry this moisture over the land are often fifty times larger than the Yangtze River. And when they meet the conditions over the land that trigger a downpour. What results are rain booms that cause destructive flooding and mud slides and rock slides. And there has already been great loss of life in China, in the US and other countries around the world.
Moreover, heating of the oceans makes the typhoons much stronger and invests them with much more water. And so their destructive power is much greater. The same extra heat also pulls the moisture out of the soil and makes the droughts deeper and makes them last longer. Inner Mongolia has just had a devastating drought. The American Midwest and Southwest have also had such droughts. And as Mr. Xie mentioned, the devastating fires and California have also been a consequence, but not only in California, in countries all over the world. In Sweden this year, there were six fires above the Arctic circle. Part of Greenland caught on fire, not the area covered by the ice, but the area is still covered by vegetation.
Tropical diseases are moving northward in the northern hemisphere into regions where they have never been prominent before. Ticks, mosquitoes and other vectors that carry these diseases are spreading.
So the bad news is suffering, and we must respond to it. The good news is encouraging, and it is almost miraculous. And indeed, due partly to China's leadership that we have seen the emergence of these new alternatives to fossil fuels and to development patterns that contribute to the destruction of our future. How do we solve the crisis by implementing these solutions? We need policies that stop subsidizing the burning of fossil fuels and start encouraging the acceleration of this transition called the sustainability revolution.
In order for these new policies to succeed, they must be global in scope. And that is why we are all here. This effort, which began in 1992 at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit continues, but it is now evident that we are not moving fast enough. The problem is getting worse more quickly than we are implementing the solutions.
And while I used to be a diplomat of sorts, I now can speak a little more freely. And I must confess to you that I'm deeply concerned about the policies pursued by the president of my own country.
But for those of you who quietly share that opinion, I want to give you some encouragement on that front as well. Last month, the elections for the US congress represented the biggest repudiation of a sitting president in the entire history of the United States during a midterm election. And it may represent an indication that less than two years from now, the presidency may change.
And President Trump’s stated intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement cannot be implemented legally until the first day after the next presidential election. So the people of my country still have the deciding role in US policies where the Paris Agreement are concerned. And if a new president is in office, excuse me for a moment, then a new president can give thirty-day notice, and the US would be right back in the Paris Agreement. So for anyone who listens to Donald J Trump, who has become the face of global climate denial, and feels some temptation to despair, I hope the United States will return to good political health.
Help is on the way. It is not far off. In the meantime, we must continue with our work to implement the policies that we know can succeed if we accelerate the pace of progress. And of course, both of our countries, China and the United States, must continue to make changes. Mr. Xie mentioned California. California, if it were a nation, would be the fifth largest economy in the world. And California since the meeting in San Francisco that we both shared, has just legally bounded itself to become a zero carbon economy by 2045. And California has a well-established record of actually doing what it says it will do.
Meanwhile, the newly elected members of the US congress are providing new leadership and demanding a green new deal, a reference to Franklin Roosevelt's plan in the 1930s. But with a twist, we can create tens of millions of new jobs, building renewable energy, electric vehicles, battery storage, retrofitting buildings, designing urban communities according to a climate friendly model, transforming agriculture and forestry to sustainable models, and the most difficult challenge of all, implementing a circular economy, which President Xi Jinping has provided leadership in advocating. We can solve this crisis.
And when we do, it will be China and the US who will have provided the critical leadership. I have to say we must stop financing the construction of dirty coal plants in other countries. And the US must stop subsidizing the burning of fossil fuels. So there are items on the agenda for both countries, even as we look toward a future of peaceful cooperation. This relationship, which was the key to the Paris Agreement one year before the Paris Agreement was signed, will continue to be the key to world progress.
I will simply close, as I often do, by saying that anyone who doubts that we as human beings in this moment, when our decisions will have a profound impact on the lives of all generations to follow us, if anyone doubts that, we as human beings in the United States, in China, in the rest of the world, have the political will to do what is necessary. Please remember that political will is itself a renewable resource. Xiexie.