The Climate Crisis: Working Together for Future Generations
Bold action to tackle the climate crisis is more urgent than ever. The record-breaking heat, floods, storms, drought, and wildfires devastating communities around the world underscore the grave risks we already face. Through our actions at home and our leadership abroad, the United States is doing its part to build a net zero-emission, resilient future that creates good jobs and ensures a healthy, livable planet for generations to come.
No country can solve the climate crisis alone. Everyone must do their part. Shortly after taking office, President Biden called world leaders together and urged them to commit to take the steps needed to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. Many countries are strengthening their ambition, but stronger and more urgent efforts are needed to reduce emissions and to help the most vulnerable countries cope with devastating climate impacts.
More than 190 countries will gather in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November 2022 for the 27th annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP27). Countries must work to quickly implement existing commitments and make the additional commitments needed to keep the 1.5 degrees C goal within reach, and advance cooperative efforts on emission reductions, adaptation, finance, technology, and averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage. This year, the United States is urging all countries to come to Sharm El-Sheikh with climate targets that meet these goals, and efforts to implement adaptation and mitigation initiatives.
The United States heads into COP27 able to show progress on meeting our ambitious 1.5 C-aligned target, and we are fully committed to working with all countries to tackle the climate crisis. Mobilizing a whole-of-government approach, the United States is scaling up action at home and abroad to put the world on a path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and to achieve the global goal on adaptation. Learn more about the United States at COP27 and the U.S. Center.
U.S. Climate Leadership
The United States is leading by the power of example. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to mobilizing a whole-of-society approach that enlists states, cities, businesses, civil society groups, and others to create a resilient and net-zero economy that benefits all.
The U.S. nationally determined contribution sets a target of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. With commitments announced by other leaders at the Leaders Summit on Climate, and additional pledges made over this last year, countries representing 65 percent of global GDP have announced commitments and targets to reduce their emissions to levels in line with keeping a 1.5-degree Celsius limit to warming within reach. President Biden also pledged to work with Congress to quadruple U.S. support for developing countries – and sextuple finance for adaptation efforts – by 2024.
President Biden and Congress made historic progress to meet the moment on climate by enacting the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), marking the most aggressive and enduring action ever by the U.S. government in combating the climate crisis while improving energy security. This legislation sets the United States on track to achieve President Biden’s bold goals of reaching net-zero emissions no later than 2050, and getting halfway there within this decade.
In June, the United States and our G7+ allies committed to end direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021 and to provide up to $2 billion to support developing countries in their transition from coal. G7 leaders also outlined strategies to decarbonize industry and pledged to reverse the loss of global biodiversity and conserve at least 30 percent of global land and marine areas by 2030.
The Economic Promise of Climate Action
Reaching global net-zero represents the greatest economic opportunity of our time. Today, solar and wind power are the cheapest sources of power generation in countries accounting for 77 percent of global GDP. The global renewable energy market is projected to be worth $2.15 trillion by 2025. U.S. manufacturers can lead this global market in renewable technologies. Conserving forests, restoring ecosystems, and deploying climate-smart agricultural practices can enhance productivity while creating access to new sources of revenue. Small businesses can grow by designing, installing, and innovating energy-conserving technologies and infrastructure.
Smart investments in infrastructure, innovation and U.S. workers can build a zero-carbon economy that gives everybody a fair shot at the American Dream.
World Leaders Must Step Up
The United States accounts for less than 15 percent of global emissions. All countries – especially the world’s major economies – must contribute their fair share to the global climate effort. Failing to keep the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius alive will produce more extreme events such as heat waves, floods, storms, wildfires, and droughts; significantly exacerbate global food insecurity; drive global migration; and act as a crisis multiplier that will pose grave national security threats. If the international community fails to address climate change today, the costs of our inaction will be passed down to future generations.
Countries must commit to a decisive decade of climate action. By coming together to set bolder emission reduction targets, bolstering adaptation plans, and articulating national roadmaps to achieve those goals, world leaders can help chart a path for a more secure, prosperous, resilient, and sustainable future for all.