Biden pledges to cut US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030

The ambitious target arrives ahead of Biden's virtual summit on climate change.

·1 min read
Kevin Lamarque / reuters

With the US recently rejoining the Paris climate agreement, the White House is setting out its emissions targets ahead of a virtual summit aimed at persuading others to follow suit. The Biden administration is pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent to 52 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels, as part of efforts to reach net-zero by 2050.

Climate scientists claim that cutting planet-heating emissions by half are crucial if the world is to meet the Paris agreement's goals of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Though the new target is among the most ambitious set by a US administration, it falls short of promises made by other nations. The European Union, for example, has pledged to cut emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, while the UK is aiming for a 68 percent reduction by 2030 and 78 percent by 2035.

For now, it's unclear if the announcement will truly spur other world powers to take their own preventive steps. Biden is expected to provide more details in a speech later today before holding a virtual meeting of global leaders on April 22. Reports suggest the US — the world's second biggest emitter after China — will also impose carbon tariffs on imports from countries that don't impose similar emission controls. Biden also reiterated his goal to reach 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035 as part of his $2 trillion spending plan to overhaul national infrastructure.