Joe Biden expected to pledge to cut emissions by about 50% by 2030


President Biden is expected to announce this week that the United States will pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50% by 2030 — a far-reaching goal that will test Mr. Biden’s ability to cajole other countries to join with the U.S. in the fight against climate change.

An administration official said Wednesday they’re not going to get ahead of the president on the emissions target, which was reported by multiple outlets ahead of a virtual climate summit with world leaders on Thursday and Friday.

“We’re upping the ante on climate change and climate ambition,” an official told reporters on a call previewing the summit. “We all know we must do more to bend the curve on global emissions and limit the rise in global temperature to [1.5] degrees Celsius.”

An official said they’ve confirmed that all 40 world leaders Mr. Biden invited plan to participate in the summit. Those include leaders who aren’t necessarily friendly to the U.S., including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A 50% reduction would be significantly more aggressive than former President Obama’s 2015 target to cut emissions by at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025.

Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, said that target is doable but that the U.S. should try to go even further.

“The United States must be an undeniable global leader in climate action in order to meet the scope and scale of the climate crisis,” Mr. Markey said.

Republicans say Mr. Biden’s climate and green energy agendas will serve to stifle growth and won’t do much to slow a rise in global temperatures.

Washington and Beijing agreed over the weekend to work together on climate change, though some observers are skeptical that the Chinese government will follow up with aggressive action to actually meet any goals or benchmarks they unveil.

The summit comes ahead of a planned United Nations Climate Change Conference in November in Scotland.

Mr. Biden had moved on his first day in office to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

Former President Trump announced in 2017 that the U.S. would exit the agreement.
The Paris Agreement set a goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The White House said a key goal of both the summit this week and the UN conference will be to “catalyze” efforts that keep a target increase in temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius “within reach.”

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