US renews pledge to cut emissions 26–28% by 2025
The US government on Tuesday formally pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent over 2005 levels within the next decade, ahead of a major climate conference later this year.
President Barack Obama made the same pledge during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November.
But this formal submission to the United Nations commits this and future administrations to the target.
"For decades, we've known why global average temperatures are rising," said White House advisor Brian Deese, announcing the goal.
"It's past time we heed these warnings. It's past time for the world to take action."
In December, the United Nations will hold the latest round of global climate talks in Paris.
The aim is to reach a global accord that would go some of the way toward limiting the rise in global temperatures.
Countries aim to limit average global temperatures to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
"With today's submission of the US target, countries accounting for more than half of total carbon pollution from the energy sector have submitted or announced what they will do in the post-2020 period to combat climate change," said Deese.
Environmental groups gave the announcement a cautious welcome.
"This is a big commitment for the United States, but on its own the current offer clearly isn't enough to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius," said Jamie Henn of 350.org.
He urged the Obama administration to curb new fossil fuel development.
© 2015 AFP