President Joe Biden announced April 22 at the Leaders Summit on Climate that the US will aim to reduce carbon emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030. Climate experts have urgedworld leaders to cut carbon emissions in order to limit the warming of the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Scientific research has shown that warming beyond that level could result in significantly greater climate impacts, including increased droughts, lower water availability, and disruption of biodiversity and ecosystems. “The United States isn’t waiting. We are resolving to take action—not only our federal government, but our cities and our states all across our country; small businesses, large businesses, large corporations; American workers in every field,” Biden said at the online summit, which was held on Earth Day.
Other countries also announced targets in reducing carbon emissions. Britain is seeking a 78% reduction by 2035, Canada is aiming to cut 40 to 45 percent by 2030, and Japan is seeking to reduce 44% by 2030. China, which is the world’s leader in total carbon emissions, did not commit to a reduction by 2030 but stated that the country will seek to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060.
The Biden administration’s announcement could mean significant changes to the economy, such as phasing out coal plants, investing in green energy such as wind and solar, and increasing the use of public transportation and electric vehicles.
From Jurist, April 23. Used with permission.
Note: The Paris Agreement sets a 2 C rise within the current century as a maximum, but urges countries to work toward a 1.5 C rise. Recent studies have found that the 1.5 C rise will be reached within five years.
Photo: Ralf Vetterle, Pixabay