U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and the White House’s National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy welcomed developments from a two-day U.S.-hosted climate summit that kicked off Thursday.
Watch the news briefing live at 1:30 p.m. ET in the video player above.
The leaders of Russia and China put aside their disputes with U.S. President Joe Biden long enough to pledge international cooperation on cutting climate-wrecking coal and petroleum emissions in a livestreamed summit showcasing America’s return to the fight against global warming.
The United States pledged to cut in half the amount of climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes it is pumping out.
“Meeting this moment is about more than preserving our planet,” Biden declared, speaking from a TV-style set for a virtual summit of 40 world leaders. “It’s about providing a better future for all of us,” he said, calling it “a moment of peril but a moment of opportunity.”
“The signs are unmistakable. the science is undeniable. the cost of inaction keeps mounting,” he added.”
Biden’s administration is sketching out a vision of a prosperous, clean-energy United States where factories churn out cutting-edge batteries for export, line workers re-lay an efficient national electrical grid and crews cap abandoned oil and gas rigs and coal mines.
His commitment to cut U.S. fossil fuel emissions up to 52 percent by 2030 marks a return by the U.S. to global climate efforts after four years of withdrawal under President Donald Trump. Japan, a heavy user of coal, announced its own new 46 percent emissions reduction target Thursday before the summit opened as the U.S. and its allies sought to build momentum.
The Biden administration’s pledge would require by far the most ambitious U.S. climate effort ever, nearly doubling the reductions that the Obama administration had committed to in the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord.