The US has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by the end of this decade. The announcement was made yesterday at a global climate summit and coincided fittingly with Earth Day. Is an ambitious but encouraging plan which hopes to inspire China, India and others to go further before the crucial annual UN climate talks in Glasgow in November, also known as the COP 26. The summit is the first in a string of meetings of world leaders – including the G7 and G20 – ahead of COP 26 which serves as the deadline for nearly 200 countries to update their climate pledges under the Paris agreement.
The UK has also shown promising steps this week by announcing a “world-leading” target for the UK to cut emissions by 78% on 1990 levels by 2035. The United States is the world’s second-leading emitter after China and the commitments made by the US and the UK clearly demonstrate an urgency that the climate crisis demands. In the words of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson:
“If we actually want to stop climate change, then this must be the year in which we get serious about doing so. Because the 2020s will be remembered either as the decade in which world leaders united to turn the tide, or as a failure”.