Almost five and a half years ago in Paris, the world finally committed to take bold action to address the climate crisis. But even then, leaders knew the commitments were not enough to meet the urgency of the challenge we face. If we want to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, we must work to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. That means we need significant emissions cuts not in 20 or 30 years, but in this decade.
Today, President Biden showed that his administration is up to the task of tackling the climate crisis by announcing his commitment to reduce the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% by 2030. This is a groundbreaking step for our country – the world’s second largest emitter of global warming pollution – and is a strong signal to leaders around the world that as a global community, we have no more time to waste. This ambitious goal is one that we must reach. I know that with the Biden Administration’s whole-of-government approach, paired with investments in green jobs and infrastructure under consideration in Congress, we can.
The eyes of the world, and particularly those of the youngest generations, are on leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society to deliver plans by the next climate talks in Glasgow that finally meet this moment and create the sustainable and just future the people of this planet deserve. I am encouraged by the latest commitments from other nations and strongly urge more leaders to heed the United States’ example and make similarly bold emissions reduction plans so that we can finally turn the tide on the climate crisis.