President Biden will begin a global summit on climate change Thursday morning by announcing that the United States will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half, based on 2005 levels, by the end of the decade. That aggressive 2030 goal, which the White House is framing as a "50-52 percent reduction," will be formalized in a document called a "nationally determined contribution," or NDC. The NDC is a public commitment to address climate change made by each country that signed onto the 2015 Paris agreement, which the U.S. formally left last year at the behest of former President Donald Trump and reentered this year after Biden took office. The Paris agreement seeks to keep the world from facing the worst-case scenarios that could occur if the Earth warms more than 2 degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial era, with a goal of keeping the rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Already, average annual global temperatures are 1 degree Celsius higher than the mid-19th century, or almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit. When the global climate agreement was first crafted during the Obama administration, the U.S. pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 2005 levels by the year 2025, a […]


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