Story at a glance

  • During a virtual conference, President Biden announced the formation of the Global Methane Plan.
  • It will consist of a team of nations committed to reducing their carbon emissions.
  • Biden’s climate plans are ambitious, aiming for a carbon-neutral power sector by 2035.

On Friday, President Biden joined more than a dozen heads of state to reaffirm the United States' commitment to mitigating the damaging effects of climate change, describing his administration’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emission levels.

Biden commented on the existing goals his administration had announced, namely to bring the U.S. power sector to carbon neutrality by 2035, and make at least half of the car sales in the country to be hybrids or electrics by 2030.

During the Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, Biden further added that the U.S. will now launch a Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions worldwide by at least 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030.

This is fueled by a growing cry to dramatically reduce emissions as evidence mounts that the world is moving past the 1.5 degree Celsius global temperature limit outlined by the Paris climate agreement.

“Without adequate commitments from every nation in this room, the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees slips through our hands,” Biden said during the virtual conference. “And that’s a disaster.”

This threshold is widely accepted as being the maximum degree increase the world’s ecosystems can handle without serious repercussions, including increased natural disasters and flooding. 

The Global Methane Plan will consist of a coalition of participating countries, with many in the European Union. It acts as a platform upon which to build off of the COP26 Glasgow Climate Conference.

Some of the fellow attendees present during the virtual chat included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

"The world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7 degrees of heating," Guterres said, per CNN reporting. "It is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities.”

Published on Sep 17, 2021