US 2030 goals will take world closer to holding global heating below 2C

The Guardian

The US goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared with 2005 levels, will take the world closer to the reductions scientists say are necessary to hold global heating within scientifically advised limits, analysis has shown.

The target, announced on Thursday (April 22) before a virtual summit of more than 40 world leaders hosted by the US president, Joe Biden, would result in emissions reductions of between 1.5 and 2.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year by 2030, compared with the US’s current expected emissions, according to Climate Action Tracker.

The EU has already agreed to cut carbon by 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. The UK is targeting cuts of 68% by 2030 and 78% by 3035, but has substantially lower emissions than the US, at about 2% of global emissions compared with 15% for the US, which is the world’s second biggest emitter after China.

Climate experts around the world welcomed the US plans. Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief in charge of the 2015 Paris agreement, said: “[This] is a reminder of the strength of the Paris agreement. It’s a reminder that we have begun the most exciting economic transformation in human history – a permanent shift away from high carbon to net zero emissions.

Mohamed Adow, director of the thinktank Power Shift Africa, said: “After four years of ignorant and cowardly climate policy from the White House under Donald Trump, it’s great to see a president who is aware of the need for action and of America’s responsibility to show leadership on this issue. The plan laid out by President Biden is hugely welcome and shows the kind of ambition we need to see from rich, polluting nations. But truth must be told. It still falls short of what is needed from the biggest historical emitter and wealthiest country to stabilise global heating to below 1.5C.”

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