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Biden’s over-under for the Paris climate target: 50 percent

How low can U.S. emissions go

How low can U.S. emissions go

WASHINGTON – How low can U.S. emissions go? Under President Joe Biden, the number to see could be 50 percent.

As he prepares for a global climate conference next month, the president’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is in full swing, with all eyes on whether he will promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by the end of the decade. .

To keep global temperatures at bay, the United Nations says the world needs to halve emissions by 2030 compared to a decade ago. This year, with Biden returning to the United States under the Paris Agreement, environmental groups, elected officials and scientists are backing less than 50 percent of the U.S. goal, the country has nowhere else to go.

Behind the scenes, some Democrats and European officials are pushing for more aggressive commitments. Yet the administration is under pressure from business groups on the other end who say 50 percent is unrealistic, especially before Biden explains how he got there, according to interviews with about a dozen industry officials, lobbyists and congressional aides.

And while many Republican lawmakers want him to drop that promise altogether, he argued that he would give Beijing huge economic benefits by promising a painful reduction, while allowing China to continue increasing its emissions.

Sen. John Barraso, a top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, warned Biden that “the United States will set punitive goals while our opponents continue to stabilize.

That argument is widely rejected by scientists and climate workers.

“It’s not a moment to hide behind other countries’ inaction,” said Rachel Clitas of the Union of Concert Scientists, who called for at least a 50 percent reduction among many groups.

In his first days in office, Biden pledged in the U.S. to zero heat-fueled gas emissions by 2050. But it will be a long-term goal or missed after the U.S. expels his incumbent. The more important question is how much the United States will reduce emissions in the short term.

Under the Paris Agreement, all countries were to announce updated commitments for 2030, known as “nationally determined contributions.” As of February, five parties to the agreement have done so.

The White House declined to comment on Biden’s decision. But administration officials said an announcement was expected on or before or before the global conference of the president and prime minister to tackle climate change, which was announced shortly after Biden took office and would be held on April 22, which coincides with Earth Day.

Biden and his special envoy for climate, John Kerry, hope that this virtual summit will announce their own ambitious commitment to increase pressure on other polluters. Not everyone is invited. Kerry said the 17 largest emitters would be Bangladesh and Palau, the weakest countries affected by dramatic climate change.

According to U.S. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in order to achieve the global goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Biden’s decision “shows that new reports are not yet close to the ambitious level.” The United States has said it will cut its combined commitments to less than one percent by 2030. Emissions from other recent data shows are climbing again after a temporary epidemic decline.

Even at 50 percent, America will stay away from speed setting. The European Union has promised a reduction of at least 55 percent since 1990, and the United States has promised 7 percent.

An independent scientific team called Climate Action Tracker says that to meet Biden’s zero net emissions target by the middle of this century, the United States needs to be reduced from 5 percent to 633 percent by 2030.

In the United States, 50 percent or more of the pledges have been made with the Environmental Protection Fund, the National Resource Defense Council and the World Resources Institute, and the United States Special Envoy Mike Bloomberg and the Washington-led government. J. Insili

Another tough question is whether Biden can back up his number by specifying how transportation, electricity and heavy industry will force the necessary cuts from the largest-emission fields.

White House climate judge Gina McCarthy has made plans, but depending on what can be achieved, Biden can get through Congress, perhaps by infrastructure law, the question is unlikely to be resolved before the summit.

There is a need to establish everything from technology to market policy, “said Marty Durbin, senior vice-president of policy making at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” To be sustainable, we need legislation passed by Congress. “

The American Petroleum Institute, a powerful oil and gas trading body that tried late to reshape the industry as a positive player on climate change, has backed “Paris Agreement ambitions” but declined to say how much America should cut by 2030.

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The trajectory should be one that balances energy security and environmental goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sustain economic growth and keep the United States competitive, “said Aaron Padilla, API’s climate policy director.

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