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US pledges to halve warming emissions

But EU and UK plans to cut emissions still the most ambitious.
22 April 2021 , Katie Coyne

US President Joe Biden has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

The announcement was made earlier today, which is also Earth Day, at the US Climate Leaders Summit. The event is being attended virtually by 40 global leaders.

Biden’s pledge follows UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s commitment earlier this week to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035, based on 1990s levels. This will bring current UK carbon reduction targets forward by 15 years.

Johnson, who is also speaking at the US Climate Summit, will urge countries to deliver net zero by the middle of the century – matching the UK – to tackle climate change.

He is expected to say: “The UK has shown that it's possible to slash emissions while growing the economy, which makes question of reaching net zero not so much technical as political.

"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.

“Let the history books show that it was this generation of leaders that possessed the will to preserve our planet for generations to come."

The UK is hosting this year’s COP26, being held in November in Glasgow, and Johnson will urge participants to bring ambition plans to tackle emissions with them.

EU leaders have previously agreed to cut carbon emissions by 55% by 2030, measured against 1990s levels.

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