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Home / US / Joe Biden’s climate plan could put the Paris Agreement targets ‘in the distance’, experts say.

Joe Biden’s climate plan could put the Paris Agreement targets ‘in the distance’, experts say.



To get there, the United States must meet Biden’s commitment to zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The President-elect’s climate policy includes an investment of $ 1.7 trillion in clean energy and green jobs, and calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and a ban on licensing new oil and gas. on public lands.

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) – a nonprofit analytical group that tracks government climate action – has compiled the numbers and found that, if done, Biden’s plan. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 75 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050, reducing Earth warming to 0.1 ° C by the end of this century.

But America cannot do it alone.

To keep the 1

.5 ° C target within reach, China needs to comply with its 2060 carbon neutralization commitment, and the European Union, Japan and South Korea all need to achieve commitment to climate.

It’s a huge feat to do, but one of the things that experts think is now within the reach of the planet.

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“This could be a historic milestone: with the elections of Biden, China, US, EU, Japan, South Korea – 2/3 of the world economy and more than 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions. – will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, a CAT partner organization, said in a statement.

“These commitments are very close, if not to the extent, consistent routes of 1.5 ° C for these groups of countries and for the first time the 1.5 ° C limit of the Paris Agreement. Remarkable distance. “

According to CAT, at present, the world will warm to 2.7 ° C by the end of this century, leading to more extreme storms, heat waves, higher sea levels, and in many parts of the world, droughts and worse extreme rainfall.

The Paris Agreement, a treaty signed by most of the countries of the world which came into effect in 2016, seeks to limit global warming to below 2 ° C and pursues efforts to limit it to level 1.5 ° C.

Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accord – which President Donald Trump left behind – on the first day of his inauguration, and then through “a great diplomatic impetus” seeking to enhance ambitions ” about countries’ climate goals. “

Biden has released a conversion website over the weekend, making climate change a top priority for his administration.

He outlined a climate action roadmap to revitalize Covid-19 that includes investments in infrastructure, the automotive industry, transportation, the power sector, and upgrading and weathering of buildings and houses. , innovation, agriculture and conservation, and environmental justice.

No longer a leader

The US is the world’s second largest polluting country, after China. When Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris accord, it signaled to the world that the United States would no longer lead the fight against global climate change – and critics argued that it undermined its efforts. other countries. Under Trump, dozens of environmental protections were gutted – many of which were Obama-era guardrails that limited the scope of global warming.
Other major polluters, such as the European Union and China, have shown they will fill the void. At the United Nations General Assembly last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China would try to become carbon neutral by 2060. And in recent weeks, Japan and South Korea have committed net zero emissions by 2050.

CAT says the United States joins a “wave” of countries around the world that currently support zero net greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, including 127 countries that account for 63% of global emissions. .

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“What other countries can do but follow this overwhelming trend for net greenhouse gas emissions?” Niklas Höhne of the NewClimate Institute, a partner organization of CAT, said.

The climate analysis team acknowledged that there was “considerable uncertainty” around their estimates. These include the possibility of a spillover effect – whether or not by other countries – and which greenhouse gas is included in the commitment – carbon dioxide or all the emissions that heat the planet.

Biden may also face stiff opposition to his climate goals from opposition lawmakers, and his ability to fully implement his climate plan may depend on which party checks in. majority control in the Senate.

However, Hare said that while Biden has a lot to do with it, “he’s going to ride a new wave of global ambitions.”

Experts say the US can now take a new lead in climate negotiations and use its influence to put pressure on other polluting nations to step up their own climate ambitions.

Jonathan Pershing, environmental program director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, who served as the climate change special envoy at the US State Department during the Obama administration’s second term, said it was “necessary” is that the United States is a global leader in the fight against climate change.

He told CNN last month to become a trusted leader again, the United States will have to prove it is implementing domestic climate policies and deciding its role in bringing the world to life. each other with climatic solutions.

“I think it does it in many different ways. It does it by participating in technical assistance programs for developing countries. It does it by creating alliances. is important around strong policy actions, “Pershing said. “Not just saying I promise you the following is good enough.”

CNN’s Drew Kann contributed to the report.


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