Today, the Biden administration announced an ambitious and credible emissions target under the Paris Agreement, called a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.
“By announcing a bold target of cutting emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade, President Biden has met the moment and the urgency that the climate crisis demands. The message from the White House is clear: The United States is ready to go all-in to beat the climate crisis. This target aligns with what the science says is necessary to put the world on the path to a safer climate, and vaults the U.S. into the top tier of world leaders on climate ambition. And it’s backed up by numerous analyses demonstrating that it can be met through multiple pathways using existing technologies.
“For four years, the world wondered what’s going on with the United States. Now they’re going to have to race to keep up. With this ambitious and credible target, the U.S. has joined the European Union and UK at the top of the global league table, recaptured a leadership role on climate — and positioned itself to push for greater global ambition in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow. Now it’s time for other major emitters to follow suit and commit to deeper reductions in their own emissions over this next decisive decade.
“Going bold on climate will help America create the jobs of the future. By taking swift action to invest in clean industries and technologies, the United States can supercharge its competitiveness in the global clean energy economy. Leading businesses and investors already know this: That’s why over 400 of them called on the administration to cut emissions at least 50% by 2030.
“With this target in place, there’s not a moment to lose to start achieving it with a whole-of-government approach that leverages action from the White House and Congress. The Biden administration can jumpstart progress by putting in place critical clean air and climate protections under existing law and by working with Congress to enact transformative investments in the American Jobs Plan. These measures can support millions of good-paying union jobs and improve air quality for low-income communities and communities of color that have borne and continue to bear a disproportionate share of harmful pollution.
“Critical near-term actions are available in three sectors: power, transportation, and methane from oil and gas. A key step toward meeting the 2030 target is an enforceable Clean Electricity Standard for the power sector that ensures reductions of 80% below 2005 by the end of the decade. With transportation as the largest source of climate pollution in the U.S. as well as a significant source of air pollution, electrifying cars, trucks and buses will be essential. And as the administration takes aggressive action to cut carbon emissions, it must also double down on actions to reduce methane — the most immediate opportunity the world has to reduce warming now. As the world’s largest oil and gas producer, the U.S. has both an opportunity and responsibility to take swift action to reduce oil and gas methane pollution here at home and be a leader in catalyzing international action on this global problem.
“As the administration implements a whole-of-government approach to meet this target, it should ensure that policies expand access to economic opportunity, reduce exposure to harmful air pollution and empower American workers in every community.
“We look forward to working with the administration, Congress, state and local leaders, businesses and advocates to help turn this bold commitment into strong policy action that delivers.”
- Nathaniel Keohane, Senior Vice President for Climate at EDF
# # #One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund