WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will open a global climate summit with a pledge to cut at least in half the coal and petroleum fumes that the U.S. pumps out, a commitment he hopes will spur China and other big polluters to speed up efforts of their own.
Biden is offering Americans and the world 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% by 2030 will come at the launch Thursday of an all-virtual climate summit for 40 world leaders, marking 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% emissions reduction target Thursday before the summit opened, as the U.S. and its allies sought to create momentum.
The Biden administration’s pledge would require by far the most ambitious U.S. climate effort ever undertaken, nearly doubling the reductions that the Obama administration had committed to in the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord.
The new urgency comes as scientists say that climate change caused by coal plants, car engines, and other fossil fuel use is already worsening droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters. Humans are running out of time to stave off most catastrophic extremes of global warming.