An ambitious pledge to cut greenhouse-gas emissions under consideration by the U.S. gives President Joe Biden more leverage when he hosts leaders for a climate change summit later this month–presenting a particular challenge to China’s Xi Jinping.
The White House may commit to emissions cuts of 50% or more from 2005 levels by 2030, Bloomberg reported last week. Officials are looking at opportunities across the federal government on standard-setting, clean energy investments and resilient infrastructure plans, according to people familiar with the deliberations.
It’s uncertain whether the U.S. can actually deliver on such a bold plan, but the indication that Biden is willing to significantly up the ante on emissions targets may put pressure on China, which has already tried to position itself as a leader in reducing greenhouse gases.
The U.S. administration is fashioning the aggressive target as it seeks to rebuild trust with nations wary after former President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement and dismantled domestic policies key to driving the country’s promised emissions cuts.
At stake is the ability to create standards and develop equipment and technologies that will be used for decades to transition the global economy away from fossil fuels with advances in everything from renewables to electric vehicles to greener steelmaking.