Story at a glance

  • The White House announced that the United States will strive to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030.
  • President Biden’s virtual climate summit begins on Thursday April 22.
  • The summit will emphasize clean energy innovation and conserving land and wildlife.

Prior to President Biden’s climate summit with world leaders, beginning on Thursday, the White House announced that the United States will strive to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030. The new goal will be officially submitted to the United Nations. 

Biden’s virtual climate summit, emphasizing clean energy innovation and conserving land and wildlife, will last two days and feature world leaders such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will speak before a U.S. congressional committee on Thursday morning, and speakers such as Pope Francis and Bill Gates will give addresses throughout the summit.

Biden is working to reposition the U.S. as a leader in the fight against climate change after former President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement in 2017. Biden rejoined the treaty by executive order on his first day in office.


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Under Biden, the White House stated that it has aided in working with countries to pledge to higher emission reductions, such as Canada, Argentina, Japan and the United Kingdom. This is essential as many of these governments oversee about half of the global economy and will be crucial in preventing the Earth’s temperature from rising above 1.5C, a main Paris agreement objective.

Though China, which is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, has recently had high tensions with the U.S., Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend Biden’s summit.

The U.S. and China made history last week through an agreement stating both nations are "committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries" to combat climate change together, according to a joint statement from the State Department and China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment issued on Saturday.

Biden has referred to the climate crisis as the biggest “existential crisis of our time,” and his administration has stated its intent to have the entire U.S. electricity grid running on clean power, such as solar and wind power, by 2035, while boosting American jobs through new opportunities in renewable energy production.

John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, said he wants countries to adopt the transition to clean energy in 2021 in a way that parallels the Industrial Revolution. “This is the greatest moment of transformation of our economy in our lifetime,” Kerry told the Washington Post. “We need to seize it.”


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Published on Apr 22, 2021