Energy & Environment

Biden Pledges to Cut U.S. Emissions in Half by 2030

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 2, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Joe Biden said the U.S. would aim to cut greenhouse-gas emissions roughly in half by 2030 during his opening remarks at the White House climate summit Thursday morning.

“That’s where we’re headed as a nation, and that’s what we can do if we take action to build an economy that’s not only more prosperous but healthier, fairer and cleaner for the entire planet,” Biden said.

“This is a moral imperative, an economic imperative,” he continued. “We have no choice, we have to get this done.”

The goal, which relies heavily on the green energy subsidies included in Biden’s infrastructure package, would see the U.S. cut emissions by as much as 52 percent below its 2005 levels within the next ten years.

The White House arrived at the ambitious goal after consulting with several climate advocacy groups and academic researchers who have suggested the 2030 deadline is within reach. However, much of the analysis relies on the assumption that Congress passes Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs bill, which includes substantial funding to retrofit existing buildings with green energy technology as well as substantial subsidies for electric vehicle makers.

“‘I think it would be basically impossible to achieve the proposed [target] with executive authority alone, both in terms of investment and regulation,’ Alex Trembath, deputy director at the progressive climate think tank Breakthrough Institute, told Politico Playbook.

Some Biden administration officials have, however, suggested that the goal is reachable even if the infrastructure and jobs package languishes in Congress.

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