On Earth Day, President Biden hosted a virtual climate change summit at the White House. During the summit, he announced his plan to cut emissions in the United States by 52% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
This is the most ambitious emissions cut that the US has ever announced.
The summit was attended by 40 other world leaders and was intended to put the US at the center of cutting emissions on a global level. By providing such a massive cut, it will hopefully get other world leaders to follow suit.
However there was one small problem with this announcement.
No Plan or Outline to Cut Emissions Was Provided
Alongside this announcement, many would have hoped to see an actual plan or overview of how the United States will achieve this.
In reality, many nations have continued to make large promises, but fail to meet them. And when you take a closer look at some of them, it doesn’t even appear that they tried in the first place.
This is because none of the pledges made concerning climate change are legally binding or enforceable.
Successful emission cuts always happen as a result of following a plan. That said, it appears that this figure was only agreed upon after consulting with multiple US agencies.
Thus, there may be a plan in place, but it is just not public.
However, regardless of if a plan is set in place or not, an emission cut of this size will be challenging. Especially when we consider that the US is the second biggest emitter in the world and responsible for 15% of global emissions.
Other World Leaders Reaffirmed Their Promises
Many of the other world leaders at the summit also reaffirmed their current pledges to the world.
Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to reach peak emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2060. Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will be carrying out large-scale environmental modernization.
However, some nations followed the US’s lead and announced new goals.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will aim for a 40 to 45% cut in emissions by 2030. South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced new pledges, which include no longer funding overseas coal plants.
And all of this was only on the first day of the summit!
The Second Day Will Address the Economic Opportunity
The second day of this summit will highlight the opportunities of climate change.
That’s right, instead of hurting economies, going green will only strengthen them. Transitioning to a green economy will create millions of jobs, and good-paying ones at that. There is plenty of technology that still needs to become innovative.
These solutions and advancements will keep companies busy for years to come. However, this requires companies to invest in climate action.
Thus, listeners can expect to hear about the importance of investing in both the private and public sectors. Doing so will incentivize and speed up the green transition, which will allow more nations to meet their goals.
Be sure to watch the second day of the virtual climate summit.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.