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Biden’s Climate Summit

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    27th Apr, 2021


At the now-concluded Leaders’ Climate Summit hosted by United States’ President Joe Biden, the US unveiled its new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the 2015 Paris Agreement.

What is the US’ target?

  • To reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50-52 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • To reach the goal of net zero emissions no later than 2050.
  • When compared to a baseline year of 1990 instead of 2005, a 50-52 per cent reduction below 2005 levels translatesto a 41-43 per cent reduction from 1990 levels.

Previous target

  • The updated target translates to a commitment that is 12 per cent higher, since the previous NDC worked out to a ~38 per cent reduction by 2030.
  • This is contrary to claims that it is a doubling of the US’ previous NDC of 26-28 per cent reduction by 2025. 

Other countries’ targets

New commitments were made by various countries ahead of and during the summit.

  • Japan: Japan committed to reduce emissions by 46 per cent from 2013 levels by 2030, compared to their earlier goal of 26 per cent and to aspire to a 50 per cent reduction.
  • Canada: Canada pledged to cut emissions by 40-45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, compared to its previous goal of 30 per cent.
  • European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK): The EU and the UK announced legally binding targets to reduce emissions by 55 per cent and 78 per cent from 1990 levels, by 2030 and 2035, respectively. Individually, both are higher than the 40 per cent target set by the EU previously and the 68 per cent reduction target by 2030 set by the UK in December 2020.
  • India: India did not announce an updated NDC, on the grounds that its current NDC is already considered 2 degrees Celsius (?C) compatible by the CAT, but announced a new India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership to mobilise investments in clean technologies for industry, transportation, power and buildings.