On Earth Day, President Biden announced a new United States goal for meeting our obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement. The United States will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030. Regretfully, China and India, the world’s largest and third largest emitters of carbon dioxide, did not announce new goals for reducing their emissions.
The Paris Climate Agreement requires countries to submit new emission reduction goals every five years with ever increasing reduction goals. New goals were due last year, but most countries postponed submitting new goals due to COVID. It is expected that new goals will be announced in November at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. If China does not announce a new goal with significant emission reductions, it will be a serious blow to any chance that the Earth can stay below 1.5 degree Celsius of global warming above preindustrial levels, which is what is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change according to the IPCC.