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Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030

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President Biden is expected to pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% from 2005 levels by 2030, according to a senior White House official. The administration will express this as a range that has not yet been announced.

Fifty percent or more is an aggressive goal and the administration is hoping it will spur other countries to make similarly aggressive pledges. For context, the U.S under the Paris climate agreement pledged to reduce emissions by 26%–28% below 2005 levels by 2025. 

But in the long term, Paris has set a goal of net-zero emissions for countries by 2050. Before the expected announcement by the administration, the president had not set a shorter-term emissions goal. 

Net zero means that nations would be able to keep Earth from warming more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Warming that exceeds this rise in temperature poses the threat of more extreme weather, more wildfires, greater stress to farming and habitats, more pestilence, as well as rising sea levels.

Soon after he took office in January, Mr. Biden rejoined the Paris climate agreement and created working groups to address greenhouse gases. He campaigned on the Paris-recommended aspiration of net-zero emissions for the U.S. by 2050. This would not mean that no emissions are created, only that any emissions produced would be offset by carbon that is removed from the atmosphere. 

Other countries are also adopting aggressive targets. Rhodium Group converted other countries' targets to a 2005 baseline to compare them to a possible 50% cut by the U.S. The UK's target is equivalent to a 63% cut under 2005 levels and the EU target is about 51% below 2005 levels.

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