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U.S. must slash emissions by at least 57% to meet Paris climate target — report

WASHINGTON — The U.S. needs to target a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 57-63 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 in order to achieve the Biden administration’s longer-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, according to a new analysis released on Thursday.

Climate Action Tracker analyzed President Joe Biden’s plans to decarbonize the new vehicle fleet, commercial buildings and the electricity sector and found that in order for the U.S. to do its share to limit the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius — the goal of the Paris Agreement — it needs to cut at least 57 percent of its emissions by the end of the decade.

The analysis comes before the United States is due to announce its new Paris Agreement pledge for 2030 known as a Nationally Determined Contribution ahead of a climate leaders’ summit the country will host on April 22.

Biden’s climate team, led by National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy and Climate Envoy John Kerry, is holding meetings with car companies and utilities as it crafts its new goal.

The CAT report says the Biden administration needs to strengthen plans to slash emissions in vehicles and buildings, but said the administration’s plan to decarbonize the U.S. power sector by 2035 is consistent with a Paris Agreement pathway.

European Union officials and environmental groups are calling on Washington to reduce emissions at least 50 percent this decade below 2005 levels.

“Having the U.S. taking such strong action would reverberate across the world, and result in other countries also stepping up to adopt the kind of targets they need to make global net zero a reality,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, a co-partner of the CAT with the NewClimate Institute.

Other environmental groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Resources Institute, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council have coalesced around a 50 percent reduction target for 2030.

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