President Joe Biden committed last week the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent below its 2005 emissions levels by 2030.
This commitment doubles the country’s prior commitment under the 2015
Paris climate agreement. He hopes this new ambitious goal will urge other countries to set similar goals.
“We had to restore America’s credibility, we had to prove we were serious, and I think that today does that in many ways,” said John Kerry, U.S Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, “We need to bring all the countries in the world to the table. We all need to raise ambition.”
Biden invited more 40 countries to participate around the world on the mark of Earth Day. Due to Covid-19 concerns, these world leaders will gather for a two-day virtual climate summit. All leaders have signaled their commitment to fight climate change.
The goal of the summit is to allow an opportunity for leaders to “concretely” express how their countries will meet mid-century pledges with nearer-term steps. Many countries’ leaders discussed how they would build efforts to combat the climate crisis.
Brazil vows to end illegal deforestation in the country by 2030. Japan pledges to curb emissions by 46 percent by 2030 compared with 2013 levels. Canada plans to slash 40-45 percent by 2030 compared to their 2005 levels. India has plans to 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 and
announced a India-U.S agenda partnership for 2030. South Korea will end public financing of coal-fired power plants overseas and plans to unveil a stronger emissions reduction pledge.
It has become apparent that 2030 has replaced the previous norm of setting goals to be met by 2050. This expresses the overwhelmingly acknowledged fact that solutions and progress is needed now rather than later.
“No nation can solve this crisis on our own. All of us, and particularly those of us that represent the world’s largest economies, we have to step up,” Biden stated.
He addresses those countries who contribute to high greenhouse emissions and have the economic abilities to make significant changes.
Data collected by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that the top five countries that emitted the most carbon dioxide in 2018 were: China, United States, India, Russian Federation, and Japan.
According to the White House, other topics that will be covered during the summit include: how major world economies will lead emissions reduce emission to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius, mobilization of private and public sectors, helping vulnerable countries with climate impacts, and spurring transformational technologies.
On April 23, renewable energy executives and country leaders will speak on public-private partnerships and economic opportunities in a session hosted by the U.S Commerce Secretary and Energy Secretary. Furthermore, discussions on job protection and creation will be had, which continue to be major concerns of the public.
A new study in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, measured the pandemic’s long-term effects on the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The study found that reduced economic activity (resulting from Covid-19) lowers the cost of meeting
these Paris Agreement targets. This makes them more politically palatable.
Furthermore, fiscal stimulus measures to accelerate economic recovery may also present an opportunity for major investments in emissions reduction efforts.
In order for the United States to truly accomplish such goals, each state will have to contribute in their efforts and legislation policies. CA Governor Gavin Newsom shows the same lead-by-example ambitions of federal government representatives.
“California, as the fifth largest economy in the world, needs to flex its muscles, it needs to assert itself,” Newsom explained in a conference regarding his new climate plan. “Hopefully it will jumpstart efforts, similar efforts in other states across this country.”