US President Joe Biden administration has today pledged to slash US greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent – 52 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
The new target was unveiled ahead of a two-day climate summit featuring the world’s biggest economies.
Before the summit began, Biden tweeted: “No nation can solve this crisis on its own, and this summit is a step on a path to a secure, prosperous, and sustainable future.”
Japan and Canada also announced new climate targets at the summit.
The pledge comes shortly after Biden unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan including numerous measures designed to cut emissions across American industry.
However, the White House officials did not lay out detailed plans for how the emissions cuts would be achieved today. That will follow later this year.
“It’s an economy-wide goal. There are going to be multiple pathways to get there,” one official told reporters on a conference call describing the plan.
An updated emissions pledge was widely expected, and follows the UK’s announcement that it will slash emissions by 78 per cent by 2035, up from 68 per cent in 2030.
Boris Johnson is attending today’s summit, along with fellow leaders like China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
In his address, Johnson hailed the US’ new target, saying: “I’m really thrilled by the game changing announcement that Joe Biden has made.
“It’s vital for all of us to show that this is not all about some expensive politically correct, green act of bunny hugging,” Johnson said. “This is about growth and jobs.”
Pledges begin to stack up in ‘last chance’ year
The summit comes in what has been billed the “last chance” year for governments to get emissions under control.
In line with 2015’s Paris accords, world leaders are aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a threshold scientists say can prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
In November, the UK will host the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, at which nations must announce their new plans for cutting emissions.
Today, Japan raised its target for cutting emissions to 46 per cent by 2030, responding to U.S. diplomacy and domestic companies and environmentalists, who wanted even higher goals.
Canada’s Prime Minster Justin Trudeau also announced an emissions cut of 40 per cent – 45 per cent by 2030 below 2005 levels.
In addition, Chinese premier Xi said his country would begin to reduce coal consumption from 2026.