Apr 22, 2021
Dominic Ellis

US pledges to cut emissions by 50% by 2030

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US President Joe Biden announces new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent emissions reduction from 2005 levels

US President Joe Biden has announced a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030 and reach 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.

The announcement – made during the Leaders Summit on Climate that President Biden is holding to challenge the world on increased ambition in combatting climate change – is part of the President’s focus on building back better.

Global leaders are capitalising on Earth Day and the Leaders Summit to renew their environmental commitments. The UK recently pledged a 78 percent reduction target by 2035 (click here).
 
Federal, state, local, and tribal governments will have "many tools available" to work with civil society and the private sector to mobilize investment to meet these goals while supporting a strong economy, he added. 

The move is grounded in economics as much as environmental benevolence. The emissions target will create "millions of good-paying, middle class, union jobs", Biden claims - as the renewables and EV industries rise in tandem with the decline in fossil fuels. Four key areas have been identified:

  • Invest in infrastructure and innovation America must lead the critical industries that produce and deploy the clean technologies it can harness today – and invent tomorrow
     
  • Fuel an economic recovery that creates jobs To fuel an equitable recovery, supply chains must be expanded and manufacturing bolstered 
     
  • Breathe clean air and drink clean water and advance environmental justice Improving the health and well-being of families and communities is essential
     
  • Make it in America Grow domestic supply chains and position the US to ship American-made, clean energy products — like EV batteries – globally.

The target is consistent with the President’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050 and of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as the science demands. 

Carbon pollution in the transport sector will be cut by reducing tailpipe emissions and boosting car and truck efficiency, and carbon sinks will be enhanced to boost forest and agriculture ecosystems.

Carbon capture and hydrogen energy will address industrial carbon pollution, coupled with more investment in innovation and clean technologies.

In his first day in office, President Biden fulfilled his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement and set a course for the US to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad, reaching net zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.

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