U.S. President Joe Biden has promised to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions 50% to 52% by 2030.
The new target more than doubles the country’s previous commitment under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord to cut emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The U.S. is not yet halfway to meeting that goal.
Biden’s pledge is in line with what environmental groups and hundreds of executives at major companies have pushed for. The U.S. president plans to announce the target at the global leaders’ climate summit, during which he hopes to urge global cooperation to address the climate crisis.
All 40 world leaders the president invited to the virtual summit will be attending, including those from China and India, and are anticipated to make new commitments as well. The United Kingdom and European Union have committed to slash emissions by 68% and 55%, respectively, by 2030.
China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has vowed to reach peak emissions by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2060.
The upcoming summit is a chance for the U.S. to rejoin global efforts on climate after the Trump administration exited the country from the Paris accord, halted all federal efforts to reduce domestic emissions and rolled back more than 100 environmental regulations in favor of greater fossil fuel production.
The president’s pledge also moves forward his campaign promise to decarbonize the country’s energy sector by 2030 and put the country on a path to net-zero emissions by mid-century. Biden so far has proposed a $2 trillion U.S. infrastructure package that would aid a transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, while promising to create green jobs.
If passed, the legislation would be one of the largest federal efforts ever to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To achieve a net-zero economy by 2050, the U.S. must curb emissions between 57% and 63% in the next decade, according to an analysis by Climate Action Tracker, an independent group that analyzes various government climate pledges.