Today, President Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade.
The ambitious plan was announced at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, which invited dozens of global leaders to discuss how the world’s top economies can help tackle one of the most pressing challenges of the modern era. Participants include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Xi Jiping.
In an opening address, which was streamed live from the East Room of the White House, Biden committed to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent to 52 percent below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030.
“That’s where we’re headed as a nation, and that’s what we can do if we take action to build an economy that’s not only more prosperous but healthier, fairer and cleaner for the entire planet. “These steps will set America’s economy to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050,” he said.
Biden also called fighting climate change “a moral imperative” and said that we are in a “decisive decade” for taking action. The announcement aimed to posit the U.S. as a leader in the global effort to mitigate global warming after the Trump administration derailed multiple environmental efforts. Biden’s commitments to the planet date back to day one of his presidency, when he signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement. In November 2020, the U.S. formally left the accord following former President Trump’s announcement in 2017.
A Call for Global Climate Action
Both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called on world leaders to work together to drastically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
“No nation can solve this crisis on our own, as I know you all fully understand. All of us, all of us and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economies, we have to step up. You know those that do take action and make bold investments of their people in clean energy future, will win the good jobs, tomorrow, and make their economies more resilient and more competitive,” said Biden.
“As a global community, it is imperative that we act quickly and together to confront this crisis. This will require innovation and collaboration around the world,” said Harris.
World leaders welcomed the announcement. Merkel said that Biden had sent “a very clear and important message to the U.S. community.” China’s Xi reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
“Combined with existing commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 from the EU, the UK and other major economies including China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, major governments are now committing to a significant effort required for the world to meet net-zero emissions by 2050,” Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum, said in a statement sent to LIVEKINDLY.
Since taking office earlier this year, all eyes have been on Biden to course-correct the damage done by Trump. While his announcement today is good news, there is still much work to be done.
Biden added that the steps that nations take between now and the forthcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow “will set the world up for success,” calling global warming “the existential threat of our time.”