Environment

US to cut emissions in half by 2030: Biden

Washington, Apr 22 (EFE).- United States president Joe Biden will pledge to halve US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the White House said Thursday.

Biden will unveil the new commitment on the first day of the Climate Leaders Summit, a virtual conference with 40 international leaders organized by the White House.

The new emissions reduction target of 50-52% below levels in 2005 nearly doubles the target the US agreed to under the Paris Agreement, which Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew from in 2018.

Biden’s plan meets the urgent demands made by various climate and scientific groups in the country, as well as major companies such as Walmart, Apple, McDonald’s and Starbucks, which had called for the United States to cut its emissions in half by the end of the decade.

It is a much more ambitious goal than the one agreed to in 2015 by then-President Barack Obama’s administration when signing the Paris Agreement, which was to reduce emissions by 26-28% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels.

In a statement, the White House said that pursuing the ambitious new emissions targets would help create “millions of good-paying, union jobs, ensure economic competitiveness, advance environmental justice, and improve the health and security of communities across America.”

The announcement hopes to encourage new commitments from other countries ahead of the UN climate summit COP26, which the United Kingdom will chair in November in Glasgow.

“The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now,” the White House said.

“Climate change poses an existential threat, but responding to this threat offers an opportunity to support good-paying, union jobs, strengthen America’s working communities, protect public health, and advance environmental justice.”

The improved US commitment is still behind that of the European Union (EU), which has increased its emissions reduction target for 2030 to 55% and will seek carbon neutrality by 2050; and also of the United Kingdom, which has announced a 78% cut by 2035.

However, the rest of the most polluting countries, such as Russia, India and China, have not committed to specific percentages, although Beijing has stated that it will peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and reach neutrality by 2060. EFE

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