Earth Day is apropos for President Biden to hold his first-ever virtual Leaders Summit on Climate. Attended by 40 world leaders, this two-day summit underscores the urgency to act on climate and protect our biodiversity. As part of the summit, the administration pledged to reduce the nation's heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% by 2030.
“Today’s action restores our nation’s place as a leader in addressing climate change and is a step in the right direction,” said Aimee Delach, a senior policy analyst at Defenders of Wildlife. “Climate change threatens people and biodiversity. Substantially reducing carbon emissions by 2030 and strengthening air quality standards are ambitious but necessary goals if we are to avoid the worst impacts of a warming world.”
Fighting with Forests
In connection with the summit, the administration released the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) plan, which is integral to the Paris Accord, the landmark climate agreement that President Biden rejoined on the first day of his presidency. The NDC states a goal of cutting climate pollution nearly in half by 2030.
Notably, the plan recognizes opportunities in the agriculture sector, including protection of forest carbon sinks like the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. “Due to the vast amounts of carbon they store, old-growth and mature forests must be protected as an important tactic to combat climate change,” said Patrick Lavin, Alaska policy advisor with Defenders of Wildlife. “Safeguarding these carbon-dense forests will also preserve imperiled species dependent on these rare habitats.”
Protecting 30% by 2030
Protecting nature is another key to combatting climate change. The Biden administration. Addressing these concerns, the Biden administration is expected to release a 30x30 report within the next few weeks, providing further recommendations to protect 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. The 30x30 goal would serve as the foundation for habitat-based solutions to address the biodiversity crisis and stabilize our climate.