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The Financial Express

US must slash emissions by almost 60pc to meet Paris climate target

| Updated: March 14, 2021 20:14:59


The US flag flies on a towboat as it passes the W H Sammis Power Plant, a coal-fired power-plant owned by FirstEnergy, along the Ohio River in Stratton, Ohio, US, September 10, 2017 — Reuters/Files The US flag flies on a towboat as it passes the W H Sammis Power Plant, a coal-fired power-plant owned by FirstEnergy, along the Ohio River in Stratton, Ohio, US, September 10, 2017 — Reuters/Files

The United States needs to set a target to slash its greenhouse gas emissions between 57 per cent and 63 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 in order to achieve the Biden administration’s longer-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, according to a new analysis released on Thursday.

Climate Action Tracker (CAT) analyzed President Joe Biden’s plans to decarbonize the electricity sector, commercial buildings and new vehicle fleet and found that in order for the United States to do its share to limit the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius - the goal of the Paris Agreement - it needs to cut at least 57 per cent of its emissions by the end of the decade.

The analysis comes before the United States is due to announce its new Paris Agreement pledge for 2030 known as a Nationally Determined Contribution ahead of a climate leaders’ summit the country will host on April 22.

European Union officials and environmental groups are calling on Washington to reduce emissions at least 50 per cent this decade below 2005 levels.

“Having the US taking such strong action would reverberate across the world, and result in other countries also stepping up to adopt the kind of targets they need to make global net zero a reality,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, a co-partner of the CAT with the NewClimate Institute.

Other environmental groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) joined the World Resources Institute, Environmental Defence Fund, Natural Resources Defence Council have coalesced around a 50 per cent reduction target for 2030.

Biden’s climate team, led by National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy and Climate Envoy John Kerry, is working with all government agencies and holding meetings with utilities and car companies as it crafts its new goal.

The CAT report says that the Biden administration plan to decarbonise the US power sector by 2035 is consistent with a Paris Agreement pathway but it needs to strengthen plans to slash emissions in buildings and vehicles.

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