The Biden Administration Must Swiftly Commit to Cutting Climate Pollution at Least 50 Percent by 2030

Issue Brief
March 30, 2021

Nick Cote for NRDC

In order to avert the worst effects of a global climate crisis, the United States must take immediate and ambitious action to reduce climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) across its economy. Now that President Biden has reestablished the United States as a party to the Paris Climate Agreement, NRDC urges the administration to commit to an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of reducing its GHG emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030—a target which is necessary, achievable, and affordable. In fact, our own modeling shows that a 53 percent GHG reduction by 2030 is technologically feasible and would cost just 0.4 percent of projected U.S. GDP while delivering substantial economic, public health, and climate benefits for Americans. Moreover, this ambitious but credible NDC target will position the United States on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050, help pull the country out of the pandemic-induced recession by putting millions of Americans to work every year, avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths, and inspire more ambitious global climate action ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in November.

We stand at a pivotal juncture in the global and national climate fight. The Biden administration must put words into action and adopt an ambitious NDC target of cutting U.S. emissions by at least half by the end of this decade.