300 Companies Sign Letter Urging Biden to Adopt 50% Emissions Goals by 2030

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer

Ahead of President Biden’s virtual Earth Day climate summit, more than 300 businesses and investors are urging the president to set ambitious 2030 emissions goals. Since rejoining the Paris agreement on his first day in office, Biden’s administration has yet to release an updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) but has promised to do so before the April 22 summit. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, among others more are asking the administration to double the nation’s previous commitment and cut emissions by 50% by 2030.

 

Why This Matters: Over the past four years, the U.S. has suffered major setbacks due to the Trump administration’s blatant attacks on climate action and environmental protection. The nation’s coral reefs are in dire straits, 50% of the U.S. is facing a “mega-drought,” and the country is staring down the barrel of what may be the worst hurricane and wildfire seasons in history. Experts say that especially because the U.S. lost time to act under Trump, it must make ambitious investments now to recover from the pandemic and ensure a clean energy future.

 

Dear Mr. President…

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,″ the coalition of businesses said in a letter to President Biden. “New investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation can build a strong, more equitable, and more inclusive American economy.″ 

Axios’s Andrew Freedman points out that a strong, united, public stance from the nation’s largest businesses is unique. It’s not just consumer organizations joining the fray; companies with major energy holdings like General Electric, Exelon, PG&E, and Edison International also signed the letter. 

 

Experts point out that this mass corporate appeal to President Biden is a symptom of the fracturing relationship between the private sector and the Republican party. Following the climate denialism that dominated the Texas freeze dialogue, outright rejection of the election results, and finally Georgia’s controversial voter suppression law, companies have seemingly had enough. “The human and economic losses of the past 12 months alone are profound,″ they wrote.Tragically, these devastating climate impacts also disproportionately hit marginalized and low-income communities who are least able to withstand them. We must act now to slow and turn the tide.″

…Put Your Foot Down

Several environmental organizations and companies have fielded their own plans and studies to help the administration meet these ambitious goals.

  • Studies sponsored by BP, ExxonMobil, and the National Resources Defense Council found that 50% emissions cuts by 2030 were viable if difficult to reach. 
  • The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is also urging the administration to pursue a 40% cut in methane emissions by 2030.
  • Energy Innovation found that a 50% cut was feasible with rapid scaling of green energy infrastructure and electric vehicle adoption.

The administration has numerous options to achieve its net-zero goals, but the best way to move forward, environmentalists and businesses say, is to get ahead. All eyes are on the administration heading into the Earth Day summit, which is expected to garner momentum for the Glasgow summit in November.

 

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