President Biden announced an ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.
“By maintaining those investments and putting these people to work, the United States sets out on the road to cut greenhouse gases in half — in half — by the end of this decade. That's where we're headed as a nation,” he said.
While the goals are a part of the Paris climate agreement that Biden rejoined upon taking office, they are non-binding and the administration has not rolled out a plan on how the US will meet them.
Officials said Biden and his team arrived at the final number in a meeting at the White House on Wednesday morning.
The figures were struck after lengthy consultations with government agencies, scientists, industry representatives, governors, mayors and environmental researchers. The move underscores the President's commitment to addressing the climate crisis and follows on his pledge to work with other countries to find joint solutions to global issues.
Biden went on to call on world leaders to join him, setting up a key test of his administration’s ability to galvanize support on this issue.
“No nation can solve this crisis on our own, as I know you all fully understand. All of us, all of us and particularly those of us who represent the world's largest economies, we have to step up. You know those that do take action and make bold investments of their people in clean energy future, will win the good jobs, tomorrow, and make their economies more resilient and more competitive,” he said.
He set the forthcoming Glasgow UN climate conference on Nov. 1 as a key target for other countries to join him in laying out goals.
Steps between now and the Glasgow conference, he said, “will set the world up for success.”
Biden called addressing climate change, which he described as “the existential threat of our time,” a moral and economic “imperative” and said this is “a moment of extraordinary possibilities.”