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Biden Commits to Reducing GHG by as Much as 52% by 2030 during Two-Day Summit

(Credit: US Nationally Determined Contribution report)

President Joe Biden has set an economy-wide target for reducing the US’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030, he announced at the virtual Climate Summit today. The National Climate Advisor developed the “nationally determined contribution” (NDC) in consultation with the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate following a “careful process involving analysis and consultation across the United States federal government and with leaders in state, local and tribal governments,” the White House said.

The goal is nearly double that set by the Obama administration in 2015.

The president says steps like sweeping changes to the US’s energy and transportation sectors will set the country on a path to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. He had previously announed plans to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.

Based on preliminary estimates, the US has met and surpassed its 2020 target of net economy-wide emissions reductions in the range of 17% below 2005 levels and is “broadly on track” to achieve 26% to 28% emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2025. The increased ambition of as much as 52% reductions by 2030 will be made possible in part through advances in technology and resulting market responses, according to the White House’s Nationally Determined Contribution report.

The NDC report states that a whole-of-government approach on climate action at the federal level will be a necessary part of achieving the 2030 target. “All levels of government and the private sector will partner to drive and implement this NDC and create a more equitable, resilient, zero carbon future for the American people,” the report states.

More Targets Announced

Canada will reduce carbon pollution by 40% to 45% by 2030, an increase from its previous target of 30%, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced a plan to reduce emnissions 46% below 2013 levels (via USA Today).

Chinese and India did not announce new targets but rather emphasized previously stated goals of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2060 (China) and installing 450 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 (India).

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro said the country will end illegal deforestation by 2030. This pledge has been met with skepticism, as the destruction of the Amazon has soared under his watch, writes the New York Times.

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