At a virtual leaders summit on climate, President Joe Biden announced a new commitment to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 under the recently reentered Paris Agreement.

A leading factor in climate change, greenhouse gas emissions result from a range of human activities.

The largest source of emissions in the U.S. is from the burning of fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal — for electricity, heat and transportation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].

The president’s aggressive goal to “cut our emissions by 50 to 52 percent by the end of the decade” is one that his administration insists can be met.

“Today’s final session is not about the threat of climate change poses; it’s about the opportunity that addressing climate change provides,” Biden said during the summit on Friday. “It’s an opportunity to create millions of good-paying jobs around the world and innovate — in innovative sectors — you know, jobs that bring greater quality of life, greater dignity to the people performing those jobs in every nation.”

Biden added that in the spirit of increasing efforts to address climate change globally, the White House is also launching an initiative to help developing countries strengthen their climate efforts while achieving their development goals.

“And that’s going to mean money,” he said.

These announcements from Biden come as governors from 12 states including North Carolina, New York, New Jersey and California asked the administration to make the nation’s vehicle fleet 100 percent zero emission by 2035.

The governors added that from China to the European Union, a race has begun to lead the zero-emission manufacturing revolution.

“With bold federal leadership, American workers will lead the way in designing, building and driving clean and affordable vehicles,” the governors said in a letter. “Strong support of ZEVs is also fundamental to keeping America competitive in the global marketplace.”

The governors’ requests to the Biden administration include:

– Setting standards to ensure that all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold are zero-emission no later than 2035 with significant milestones along the way to monitor progress.
– Restoring greenhouse gas emission standards for all vehicle model years possible to replace the unsupported standards from the previous administration.
– Reaffirming that states have authority to follow vehicle emissions standards set by California, if they choose to do so.
– Enacting new tax credits for the manufacturing of zero-emission trucks and buses as well as zero emissions vehicle charging and fueling stations.

“By establishing a clear regulatory path to ensuring that all vehicles sold in the United States are zero-emission, we can finally clear the air and create high-road jobs,” the governors said. “Moving quickly towards a zero-emission transportation future will protect the health of all communities.”

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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