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 zero-carbon 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. That is why, shortly after taking office, President Biden called world leaders together and urged them to commit to the steps needed to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. Many countries are raising 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.
Glasgow: A Pivotal Moment
More than 190 countries plan to gather in Glasgow, UK, in November 2021 for the 26th annual UN Climate Change eConference (COP26). Countries will work together to deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement by outlining their plans to address the climate crisis by strengthening their efforts over the coming decade. The United States is urging all countries to come to Glasgow with national commitments in line with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
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 large and small, civil society groups, and others to create a net-zero clean energy economy that benefits all.
After rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden convened 40 countries in a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate to rally the world in tackling the climate crisis. To meet the challenge head on, the President committed to reduce U.S. emissions by 50 to 52 percent in 2030. Along with new commitments announced by other leaders at the Summit, countries representing 55 percent of global GDP announced commitments to reduce their emissions to levels that would keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal within reach. President Biden also pledged to double U.S. support for developing countries – and triple finance for adaptation efforts – by 2024.
To drive down the costs of new technologies and turbocharge the green energy revolution, the United States is launching a series of “earth-shots,” marshaling the innovative capacities of researchers and entrepreneurs to accelerate clean energy breakthroughs within the decade. Working with the private sector to strengthen climate innovation and investment, the Administration is creating new clean energy jobs and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness by scaling up the production and export of clean goods and services.
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
The climate crisis presents an opportunity to create millions of good-paying, middle-class, union jobs. The Biden-Harris Administration has proposed historic investments in American infrastructure and innovation to tap this once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for our workers and our communities, especially those too often left out or left behind.
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. The U.S. agricultural sector can cultivate new sources of income by becoming the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions. 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. The United States is prepared to work with other countries to help them chart their own pathways to prosperity built on the clean technologies of the future.
The cascading impacts of the climate crisis do not discriminate by nation or borders. 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.
This year, countries must commit to a decisive decade of climate action. By coming together to set bolder emission reduction targets and articulating national roadmaps to achieve those goals, world leaders can help chart a path for a more secure, prosperous, and sustainable future for all.