Ceres Applauds President Biden's Announcement of a Strong National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target

New U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution calls for a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030
Apr 23, 2021 10:30 AM ET
Press Release

April 23, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Ceres applauds today’s announcement by the Biden administration of a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the U.S. to achieve a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030, which will place the country on a credible pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“The Biden administration’s bold, ambitious national emissions reduction target will help catalyze a net-zero emissions future, which is critical to our efforts to build a strong, more equitable, and more inclusive U.S. economy,” said Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber. “Communities across the country continue to feel the impacts of the climate crisis, which is growing worse by the day. From recent extreme weather to deadly wildfires and record-breaking hurricanes, the human and economic losses this past year alone are profound—and they disproportionately hit marginalized and low-income communities. With a strong NDC, and a more determined private sector than ever before, we can tackle this crisis head on to better protect our health, communities, and economy while creating good-paying jobs.”

The announcement comes after Ceres and the We Mean Business coalition mobilized more than 400 powerful business and investor voices to call for an ambitious national emissions reduction target, consistent with what was announced today.

In an open letter, they wrote:

“A bold 2030 target is needed to catalyze a zero-emissions future, spur a robust economic recovery, create millions of well-paying jobs, and allow the U.S. to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic. New investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation can build a strong, more equitable, and more inclusive American economy. A 2030 target will also guide the U.S. government’s approach to more sustainable and resilient infrastructure, zero-emissions vehicles and buildings, improved agricultural practices, and durable carbon removal. Finally, the commitment would inspire other industrialized nations to set bold targets of their own. Many of us have set or are setting emissions reduction goals in line with climate science since the establishment of the Paris Agreement.”

Read the full open letter here.

The signatories—which include Amazon; Apple; Ford Motor Company; Google; H&M; Hewlett Packard Enterprise; HP Inc.; Lyft, Inc.; Mars, Inc.; Mastercard; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft; National Grid; Nestlé; Nike; Ralph Lauren Corporation; Salesforce; SAP SE; Schneider Electric; Seventh Generation; Starbucks; Tiffany & Co; Unilever; Verizon; VF Corporation; and Walmart—represent more than $4 trillion in annual revenue. They range in size from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large multinational corporations, and represent a number of industries. Investor signatories of the letter collectively represent more than $1 trillion in assets under management and include the California State Controller’s Office, CalSTRS, the New York State Comptroller, and the New York City Comptroller, among others.

“The Biden administration heard our collective voice loud and clear and responded with an ambitious NDC that will provide the foundation for a suite of vital climate policies and accelerate the development of the clean energy economy,” said Anne Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres. “Businesses of all sizes, along with major investors, recognize that reducing emissions is crucial to keeping the U.S. competitive, protecting public health, and addressing the looming threat of climate change. Setting this strong 2030 target will help to return the U.S. to its role as a global climate leader and spur innovation, investment and leadership from the private sector. We look forward to working with the Biden administration on its efforts to deliver on the new NDC.”

Today’s announcement comes on Earth Day and as President Biden convenes world leaders today and tomorrow for the Leaders Summit on Climate. Earlier this week, Ceres held a special event with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to highlight the significant momentum among the largest U.S. investors and banks committing to ambitious net-zero emissions goals and the necessary steps the finance sector has to take to help achieve a net zero future. See Mindy’s Forbes.com column: “The world’s largest financial leaders have committed to net zero. Now what?”

Tomorrow, Ceres, along with the We Mean Business Coalition, will host an event — International NGO Leaders on Business and Government Collaboration — to discuss how U.S. business and government can work together to support the new NDC goal and accelerate the net-zero transition.

Lubber added, “We are at a pivotal point in the massive economic and financial transformation we have to make in the U.S. And, we are excited about the extraordinary momentum as we head into today’s Leaders Summit on Climate.”

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.