Biden, calling for action, commits U.S. to halving its climate emissions

The New York Times

President Biden on Thursday (April 22) moved to put four years of official climate denial behind the United States, declaring that America would cut its global warming emissions at least in half by the end of the decade.

He cast the challenge of avoiding catastrophic warming as an economic opportunity for America and the world, a striking contrast to his predecessor who had abandoned the agreement. “This is a moral imperative, an economic imperative,” Mr. Biden said. “A moment of peril, but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities.”

Energy experts said it would require a dramatic overhaul of American society, including the virtual elimination of coal for electricity and the replacement of millions of gasoline-powered cars with electric vehicles.

Some climate activists, particularly from poorer countries that have polluted the least but are suffering the worst consequences of climate change, said the United States was obligated to do far more.

“This summit is a major turning point that now shifts attention toward the laggards and concrete near-term actions,” said Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a research organization based in Nairobi, Kenya. Rich, polluting countries, he said, “need to come back with much stronger pledges, including climate finance for poorer nations.”

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