Joe Biden will announce at a major global climate summit on Thursday that the United States will take steps to cut carbon emissions in half by the end of the 2020s, the White House said.
The Leaders Summit on Climate opens at 8 a.m. EDT with opening remarks from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who are seeking to reassert the United States as a world leader in efforts to limit global warming to 1.5. degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The first day of the two-day summit falls on Earth Day, and EarthDay.org will wrap three days of climate action on Thursday.
— Jane Recker (@janerecker) April 22, 2021
The White House said early Thursday that Biden will announce a new target for the United States to achieve a reduction of between 50 and 52% in net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
“On day one, President Biden fulfilled his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement and set a course for the United States to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad, reaching net zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050. As part of re-entering the Paris Agreement, he also launched a whole-of-government process, organized through his National Climate Task Force, to establish this new 2030 emissions target,” the White House said in a statement.
The U.S. plan includes a goal to reach 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, reduce pollution from the transportation sector, cut emissions from forests and agriculture and enhance carbon sinks and reduce non-carbon greenhouse gases like methane, hydrofluorocarbons and other pollutants.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry also will participate, along with fellow heads of state and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres.
The first day of the two-day session comes on the five-year anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to cut global emissions.
At 11:45 a.m., there will be a session on investing in climate solutions with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Kerry, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, among others.
Pope Francis is scheduled to be a featured speaker during the late Thursday morning session.
At 12:45 p.m., there will be a breakout session on adaptation and resilience, featuring U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and numerous climate and energy representatives, including Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines and Environment Aziz Rabbah and Rwandan Environment Minister Jeanne D’Arc Mujawamariya.
Another breakout session at the same time on “Climate Action at All Levels” will feature U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, among others.
A 2 p.m. breakout session on climate security will include U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo, among others.
At the same time, a breakout session on nature-based solutions will feature U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson, Peruvian Environment Minister Gabriel Quijandría and Costa Rican Environment and Energy Minister Andrea Meza, among others.
Another full day of events will take place Friday.
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