All eyes were on Glasgow, Scotland as world leaders gathered for the historic COP26 summit from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.

This venue provided an important opportunity to discuss strategies to ensure that all nations have the tools to combat climate change through innovation and an all-of-the-above energy approach.

As President Biden and other foreign leaders participated in these talks, it is critical to call out the role of natural gas in lowering emissions, alleviating poverty, and encouraging the deployment of renewables. By embracing the clean energy advantages of natural gas, especially U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, the president can deliver a bipartisan win for Americans and the world.

Earlier this year, I spoke on a panel, hosted by  Meridian International Center, about the advantages natural gas brings to the climate fight. Not only is natural gas a reliable and stable source of feed-stock for electricity production, but it also produces about half the emissions of coal. That’s why President Obama and his Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz were strong supporters of natural gas during their tenure.

Additionally, natural gas has helped the U.S. deploy solar and wind power – with support from government officials across party lines. Should there be a season where sunlight exposure significantly drops or the elements cause other renewables to fall short, natural gas can quickly adapt and provide a reliable backup. Moniz and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a Department of Energy-supported entity, have underscored the unique flexibility of natural gas generation to enable the steady expansion of renewables.

Moreover, a Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment study found that the affordability of natural gas also benefits solar energy growth. With natural gas today providing feedstock for about 40% of U.S. electricity, its role should only grow as President Biden pursues a clean energy economy.

Unfortunately, support for natural gas has become partisan, with some members of Congress supporting policies that could limit future production of U.S. natural gas and proposals that would disincentivize natural gas use in power generation, despite its importance to the grid and emissions advantages over coal. This important relationship between natural gas and renewables should be expanded in order to accelerate the goal of a green energy economy at home and abroad.

For their part, nearly three-quarters of U.S. voters agree that natural gas should be included in clean energy policies, based on a recent Morning Consult nationwide poll. Moreover, 76% of Democrats feel the same way, providing strong evidence that the future of natural gas shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

As I have previously explained natural gas isn’t just important for America; it is also critical for the developing world. Some nations don’t produce their own natural gas and depend on U.S. imports.

African countries, for example, need reliable and cheap access to energy for their growing population and critical agriculture sector. LNG has proven to be the best source to satisfy that need.

While it’s important to move the world toward net-zero goals, preventing the use of fossil fuels, including natural gas, from the outset only hurts development and makes poor populations more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  

Imagine the climate progress the world could make if the U.S. mobilized its leadership and resources to help less developed countries invest in the technology and prepare the talent required for the clean energy future?

Domestically, the United States is leading the clean energy economy. The Department of Energy recently reported that while some energy sectors lost jobs in 2020, the sectors that continued growing amid the pandemic were wind generation, battery storage, and electric vehicles.

With the move toward a cleaner energy economy, one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on is the need for reliable, affordable and secure energy. The Biden administration and Congress should work together to recognize the importance of an all-of-the-above energy approach in lowering emissions.

The world is counting on the United States to provide leadership on accomplishing our climate goals, as seen by President Biden’s bold climate initiatives laid out during COP26. Through partnering with countries around the world, the administration is showing that it’s possible to reach its goals and chart a path forward by embracing clean energy. 

Ambassador Dwight Bush was a U.S. Ambassador to Morocco during the Obama administration