The Latest: Group says US among most ambitious on emissions

Politics
Joe Biden

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry listens during the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Joe Biden’s global climate summit (all times local):

9:20 a.m.

An independent research organization says the American goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% from 2005 levels puts the United States among the four most ambitious nations in curbing climate change.

The Rhodium Group said early Friday that using the U.S.-preferred 2005 baseline, America is behind the United Kingdom but right with the European Union. It’s ahead of countries that include Canada, Japan, Iceland and Norway.

President Joe Biden announced the U.S. goal at the virtual climate summit on Thursday.

Different nations use different base years for their emission cuts so comparisons are difficult and can look different based on baseline years.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions 45% below 2010 levels to limit warming to the strictest of the Paris agreement goals. Rhodium calculates the U.S. target translates to 49% below 2010 levels.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GLOBAL CLIMATE SUMMIT:

The White House brings out the billionaires, the CEOs and the union executives to help sell President Joe Biden’s climate-friendly transformation of the U.S. economy at his virtual summit of world leaders.

Read more:

— EXPLAINER: How come nations’ climate targets don’t compare?

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

9:10 a.m.

An analysis shows President Joe Biden’s climate summit and the run-up to it cut the so-called emissions gap, a crucial measurement used to see if the world can limit global warming, by about one-eighth.

Climate Action Tracker is a group of scientists who monitor nations’ pledges of carbon pollution cuts. It calculated that targets announced since last September cut about 12% to 14% from the emissions gap.

That emissions gap is that big area between what nations promise to do and the pollution reductions needed by 2030 to limit future warming to another half a degree, which is the stricter of two goals adopted by the 2015 Paris climate deal.

The tracker calculated the announcements cut between 2.9 and 4.1 billion tons of carbon from the gap.

With the new targets from the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan and Canada, the new emissions gap is 22 to 26 billion tons of carbon pollution. The tracker says before those pledges it was 25 to 30 billion tons.

Climate scientist Niklas Hohne says “we are now starting to see the kind of near-term climate action the world needs to win the race to zero by 2050.” Hohne says, “While the gap is still huge, the summit created new momentum.”

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8:55 a.m.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates have helped pitch President Joe Biden’s climate-friendly transformation of the U.S. economy on Day 2 of the world leaders’ virtual summit.

Bloomberg says combatting climate change will depend on improving financial transparency about the risks of global warming.

Bloomberg said Friday that companies need to provide financial disclosures on climate risks, so that investors can direct funding to businesses that are mitigating the threats of climate change. He says it will take historic investments to beat the challenge of global warning.

Bloomberg says mayors and CEOs tell him they want to do more to tackle climate change but need more help. The multibillionaire founder of a financial data and news company is a special U.N. envoy on climate change issues.

Gates thanked Biden and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry for reestablishing the U.S. leading role on tackling climate change. Gates says, “This is a promising moment.”

Gates says activists and young people are rightly demanding action. He says, “Governments around the globe are meeting those demands with ambitious commitments.”

Gates says climate change is “an incredibly complex issue and using just today’s technologies won’t allow us to meet out ambitious goals.”

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8:45 a.m.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has kicked off the second day of the global climate summit with a commitment to meet the challenge with historic amount of new investment.

The former secretary of state said Friday he heard from representatives of 63 countries on the first day of the summit, from all regions of the world. Many nations have bold plans but lack the resources to implement those plans.

Kerry says, “There is polite but obvious frustration that was manifested by many who have contributed so little to the crisis but who have to deal with so much of the consequences.″

At the same time, Kerry said participants enthusiastically reported one after the other about “significant and exciting measures that they’re taking.″

The agenda for the second day will focus on the economic opportunities of combating climate change and the need for technological innovations.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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