New US Climate Commitment Shows Climate Ambition
Paris Agreement Pledge a Significant Step, but Now the Work Begins
Earlier today, the Biden Administration announced an emissions reduction proposal as part of its nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement. The new target – 50 to 52 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 totals by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 – is a strong signal of US commitment to climate action after rejoining the Paris Agreement. Countries need to work together to build global momentum to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees and reduce the effects of climate change.
This pledge joins those of China, the European Union, and others that already updated or provided more information on targets in late 2020.
After four years of inaction, today’s announcement is a clear sign that the U.S. has recommitted itself to purposeful action to tackle the global climate emergency.
Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy, issued the following statement:
“After four years of inaction, today’s announcement is a clear sign that the U.S. has recommitted itself to purposeful action to tackle the global climate emergency.
“The new NDC accelerates the U.S. pledge to reduce its emissions and demonstrates that the Biden Administration is serious about climate change. While ambitious in scope and scale, it is not a silver bullet. The U.S. needs to immediately begin ratcheting down its emissions to meet its longer-term goal of net zero emissions by 2050. If we are going to meet the goal set by the Paris Agreement, the U.S. and other countries must redouble their efforts over the next five years.
“The United States has a real opportunity to lead the world in addressing the climate emergency. This new pledge – including infrastructure improvements, increases in renewable energy targets, and leveraging the power of nature – will not only get the U.S. on the right path, but will create jobs and signal to the rest of the world that the United States is doing its part. We are heartened by the speed with which this new Administration has submitted this NDC to build global momentum, and we look forward to more detailed plans on how they will meet the target. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and economic development can go hand in hand, and countries can prosper without enduring the impacts of pollution. America’s leading corporations agree. Earlier this week, more than 300 companies, representing over $3 trillion in revenue, urged this Administration to cut GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is just the latest evidence that companies around the world have an appetite for action and a sense of urgency.
“Making a robust commitment is important, and the blueprint to implement it is now the key to delivering for people and nature. We’re looking forward to seeing transparent plans from this Administration to reduce emissions from energy, transportation, manufacturing and buildings, while harnessing the power of nature to capture carbon. It is not only possible, but imperative to drive innovation in economies while stabilizing the climate – in ways that create new jobs, improve health, promote equity, restore nature, and improve transportation and energy supply.
“The time to act is now. The world is watching the U.S. to see just how ambitious it will be in taking climate action. We look forward to working with the Administration and all relevant stakeholders to meet this critical goal.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.