US President Biden: New emissions targets presented
Photo: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images
The plans of the new US president to devote more attention to the fight against the climate crisis are taking shape: Shortly before the start of a climate summit scheduled by Joe Biden for Thursday and Friday, the White House announced new national emissions targets.
By 2030, the US wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent compared to 2005.
The president's "ambitious new target" gave the US government an important lever to push for climate protection measures abroad, said a government official.
If the figures are officially reported to the UN, the Biden government is fulfilling a requirement of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. It stipulates that members improve their climate targets every five years.
However, resistance to more climate protection is already forming in the USA.
EU has ambitious goals
In 2015, under the then President Barack Obama, the United States committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below the 2005 level by 2025.
After Donald Trump had left the agreement in the meantime, his successor Biden is setting an example by re-entering and doubling the original goals.
Previously, not only environmentalists, but also numerous large companies had urged the government to present ambitious climate targets.
Even with the new commitments, however, the USA is falling behind compared to other regions of the world.
On Wednesday, the EU passed a climate law for the first time that provides for CO2 reductions of at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990.
Great Britain pledges to cut greenhouse gases by as much as 78 percent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday.
Biden is planning a number of ambitious laws to meet the targets.
Among other things, the oil and gas industry is to be subject to stricter requirements, car manufacturers and buyers are to receive incentives to switch to electric vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of American houses are to be better insulated.
There are also plans to oblige the US energy companies to generate more electricity from renewable energies.
The new US administration is convinced that this is the only way to prevent a further rise in the earth's temperature above the dangerous level of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
However, it is unclear whether Biden can prevail in his own country: There is resistance to important parts of his climate plans both in his own party and among the opposition Republicans.
At the climate summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Biden wants to gain international support for his new course and motivate other nations to increase their efforts to protect the climate.
40 heads of state and government from all over the world are expected at the virtual meeting.
dpa / stu