The US has submitted its climate change pledge ahead of an international treaty being agreed at the end of a year. The country has set a target of achieving 26-28% emissions cuts by 2025 when compared to 2005 levels.
The US has also said it was on track to see emissions fall by 80% by mid-century. President Barack Obama also plans to ensure that the pledges cannot be reversed when he leaves office.
“Undoing the kind of regulations we are pitting in place is something that is very hard to do,” explained Todd Stern, US envoy for climate change.
“Countries ask me about the solidity of what we’re doing all the time, and that’s exactly what I explain.”
In a blog post, Brian Deese, senior adviser to Obama, said, “The United States’ target is ambitious and achievable, and we have the tools to reach it. The goal will roughly double the pace at which we’re reducing carbon pollution through cost-effective measures using laws already on the books.”
He continued that over time the warning signs of climate change have “grown more alarming” and “it’s past time we heed these warnings”. Deese called on other countries to submit their own “transparent, measurable and above all ambitious targets” for moving towards a low-carbon economy.
The US submission means that countries accounting for more than half of total carbon pollution from the energy sector have submitted or announced what they will do post-2020 to combat climate change. However, a number of leading economies have missed the UN deadline to file climate change pledges, including China, Australia and Canada.
Photo: Lisa Murray via Flickr