Joe Biden expected to pledge big US emission cuts

The US president Joe Biden will be leading a virtual summit with 40 world leaders, asking major countries to take action against the worsening climate crisis.

Joe Biden is expected to make big announcements regarding the US emissions cuts this week as he leads the charge in a virtual summit with 40 world leaders.

He has already made the climate emergency one of his administration’s top priorities and heavily emphasized widespread reform within the US as part of his election campaign.

It is in stark contrast to Trump, who repeatedly dropped Obama’s environmental policies and pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris Climate agreement. Biden’s plans will look to drastically cut back on greenhouse emissions within the next ten years and bring the US back up to speed with its climate goals.

Scientists reckon we’d need to reduce our emissions by 45% before 2030 if we’re to limit global heating by 1.5C. Current data suggests 2021 is set to be the second biggest annual leap in fossil fuel production ever thanks to economic setbacks caused by the pandemic, which makes Biden’s efforts all the more urgent.

Though we don’t yet know the absolute specifics, we do know that Biden will have a major impact on other large territories if the US makes a decisive and bold pledge.

Christiana Figueres, a former UN climate chief, was keen to stress the importance of ramping up global ambition to curb climate change.

‘Everyone needs to do better NDCs (nationally determined contributions). New updates are showing we are perilously close to tipping points. We have to meet the scale of that challenge.’ Current NDCs would lead to a reduction of just 1% of emissions by 2030 according to the UN.

Biden’s commitment to new NDCs is significant as it pushes more priority onto short term goals, which are most important in curbing the immediate effects of climate change. We’ve yet to know how drastic his cuts will be, but experts believe he’ll likely pledge a 45% emissions reduction.

There will also be talks in November at Cop26 in Glasgow, with a focus on stronger, more hard-hitting NDCs that bring carbon footprints down massively. The UK is one of the biggest pledgers, though analysts have argued the country isn’t doing enough to tackle the severity of the situation.

Ultimately, it will largely come down to the US and China. Asian regions are the worst offenders for continued ramping up of fossil fuel consumption throughout this century, but the US and China did issue a joint statement on Saturday in which they were ‘committed to co-operating.’

Time will tell as to what happens with our climate goals over this decade but, with Biden leading the US effort, things look a whole lot brighter than a year ago.

@thredmag

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