US vows to slash emissions by 26-28%

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Apr 01, 2015 23:53 IST

The United States on Tuesday gave UN panel on climate a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% of 2005 level by 2025, building on initiatives already underway.

The target cuts, contained in the plan technically called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, were first announced by the US in talks with China in 2014.

Every country was required to submit by March 31 a plan to cut emissions, in the run up to Paris talks later this year. India missed the deadline, and may file later.

“Today’s action by the US further demonstrates real momentum on the road to reaching a successful climate agreement this December and shows President Obama is committed to leading on the international stage,” said the White House.

But President Obama’s plan has little chance of make it through congress, where many lawmakers, mostly on the right, don’t believe in the concept of climate change.

Republican leader of senate Mitch McConnell questioned Obama’s ability to deliver on the promise pointing to continued lack of unanimity over his Clean Power Plan. Two-thirds of the federal government hasn’t signed off on the plan, which McConnell described as “job-killing and illegal”, and 13 states have said they will oppose it.

Obama will have to press on through executive actions.

And he will, having made climate change a priority of the second term of his presidency, starting with the ambitious Clean Power Plan unveiled by his administration in 2014.

Climate change has been a leading element of his diplomacy also — getting China to agree to plan to peak emissions by 2030 and up use of non-fossil fuel by 20% at the same time. He has pressed India on climate change too, most recently on his visit past January. And, starting February, the US began monitoring air quality in Delhi.

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