Biden calls climate action a ‘moral imperative’, pledges to halve CO2 emissions by 2030
The Biden administration on Thursday pledged at a US climate summit attended by world leaders to slash US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, a target it hopes will spur other big countries to raise their ambition to combat global warming.
The United States, the world’s second-leading emitter after China, seeks to reclaim global leadership in the fight against global warming after former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from international efforts to cut emissions. President Joe Biden unveiled the goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the start of a two-day virtual climate summit attended virtually by leaders of 40 countries including China, Russia and India.
“This is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis,” Biden, a Democrat, said at the White House, adding that climate action is a “moral and economic imperative”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the new US goal “game changing” as two other countries made new pledges.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga raised Japan’s target for cutting emissions to 46% by 2030, up from 26%. Environmentalists wanted a pledge of at least 50% while Japan’s powerful business lobby has pushed for national policies that favor coal.
Canada’s Prime Minster Justin Trudeau raised his country’s goal to a cut of 40%-45% by 2030 below 2005 levels, up from 30%.
The US climate goal also marks an important milestone in Biden’s broader plan to decarbonise the US economy entirely by 2050 – an agenda he says can create millions of good-paying jobs but which many Republicans say they fear will damage the economy.
The US emissions cuts are expected to come from power plants, automobiles, and other sectors across the economy, but the White House did not set individual targets for those industries. The target nearly doubles former President Barack Obama’s pledge of an emissions cut of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Sector-specific goals will be laid out later this year…..read more