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US submits target to cut GHGs by 26-28% from 2005 levels to UNFCCC; doubling the rate of reduction

The United States submitted its target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The submission—an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)—is a formal statement of the US target, announced in China last year, to reduce emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, and to make best efforts to reduce by 28%.

The US target will roughly double the pace of carbon pollution reduction in the United States from 1.2% per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8% per year on average between 2020 and 2025.

Last November, President Obama and President Xi of China, announced the respective post-2020 climate targets for the United States and China. China committed to limit its greenhouse gas emissions, with a commitment to peak emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early, and to increase its share of non-fossil energy consumption to around 20% by 2030. The European Union has put forward an INDC to cut its emissions 40% by 2030. Last week, Mexico announced that it would peak its overall net greenhouse gases by 2026.

With these actions, as well as INDCs submitted by Norway and Switzerland, countries representing more than 50% of global CO2 emissions have either announced or formally reported their targets.

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