President Biden will commit the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 52% as he convenes world leaders for a climate summit on Thursday.
The new target, long anticipated as a signal of the new president’s commitment to fighting climate change, will actually be a range: a 50%-52% cut of 2005 emissions levels by 2030.
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.
What the President will not unveil, at least right now, is a specific road map for how the United States will reach those targets, which are being described as “economy-wide.” Officials described “multiple pathways” for the US to arrive at the goal, and said the President’s climate task force would release sector-by-sector recommendations later this year on achieving the necessary cuts.
“Achieving that target is something we can do in multiple ways,” a senior administration official said a day ahead of the announcement.
“In the coming months you will continue to see from the administration a focus on driving forward the necessary actions that unlock the jobs opportunity that tacking the climate crisis presents,” the official said.
Indeed, Biden is expected to focus heavily on the potential economic boon that fighting climate change could present. His critics have described attempts to move the country away from fossil fuel as job-killers. But Biden hopes to highlight the opportunities that would come along with overhauling technology to make it cleaner.
“There is only one playbook that works in this moment and that playbook is you chase after the economic opportunity that tacking the climate crisis presents and we’re doing that,” the official said.
Officials said they conducted a “techno-economic” analysis across various sectors — including electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, lands and oceans — to identify various pathways for reducing emissions in each one. That included the potential for new standards and incentives that would limit greenhouse gasses.
Read more about the announcement here.