Greenhouse Gas Emissions

President Biden Commits U.S. to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by At Least 50% by 2030

The new target follows the president's move to rejoin the Paris Agreement.
President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden marked Earth Day by tackling greenhouse gas emissions.

During the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate on Thursday, April 22, Biden announced that the United States will achieve a 50-percent to 52-percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030.

The administration plans to meet that goal by building on progress to-date, and by positioning American workers and industry to tackle the climate crisis, according to a statement from the White House.

The administration's commitment follows Biden's move to rejoin the Paris Agreement.  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 — known as the nationally determined contribution (NDC), a formal submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the statement added.

According to the White House, the target is consistent with Biden's goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050 and of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as the science demands. To develop the target, the administration:

  • Used a whole-of-government approach with the National Climate Task Force relying on a detailed bottom-up analysis that reviewed technology availability, current costs, and future cost reductions, as well as the role of enabling infrastructure. 
  • Consulted stakeholders, including groups representing scientists; government officials like governors, mayors and tribal leaders; businesses; schools and institutions of higher education; and specialized researchers focused on questions of pollution reduction.
  • Explored multiple pathways across sectors of the sector of the economy that produces CO2 and non-CO2 greenhouse gases: electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, and lands. 

While committing to change, the administration did not detail a roadmap to achieving the target.