1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Biden insists US will meet 2030 emissions targets

Jennifer Collins
November 11, 2022

US President Joe Biden spotlights 'ambitious' climate package, new methane rules and announces adaptation funding at Egypt climate summit.

Joe Biden stands at a podest in front of a blue COP27 banner
Speaking at UN climate summit, US President Joe Biden says US will reach its climate targets Image: Saul Loeb/AFP

US President Joe Biden said his country would double climate adaptation funding to Africa and that the US would meet its climate targets by 2030 at a speech during the UN climate conference in Egypt on Friday. 

Biden highlighted the Democrat's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in the summer, which will dedicate $368 billion (€363 billion) over the next decade to cut greenhouse gases and shift to green energy sources.

"I can stand here as president of the United States of America and say with confidence, the United States of America will meet our emissions targets by 2030."

He added that US plans under the IRA would spur transformational shift to an economy based on clean energy and infrastructure, creating jobs in the process.

 "We're proving that good climate policy is good economic policy," said Biden.

The US president said Russia's war in Ukraine and the "harbingers" of climate change that are already with us made the transition to a fossil-free world even more urgent. 

"The climate crisis is about human security, economic security, environmental security, national security and the very life of the planet," Biden said. 

If the world is to win this fight, to bend the emissions curve, then every nation must "step up," added Biden. 

Biden administration faces pressure to act faster on climate change

Biden announced the US would double its financial pledges to global adaptation funds to help the most vulnerable adjust to living in a warming word.

He said the US would mobilize $150 million for adaptation in Africa and will also support the new G7 "Global Shield" climate risk insurance initiative to address loss and damage caused by climate disasters. 

Industrialized nations had pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate financing by 2020, but have so far fallen short. Most of that financing is in loan rather than grant form. 

Egypt will also receive $500 million from the US and European Union to help finance its green energy transition, said Biden. 

The US President will likely still face major pressure to stump up more cash for low-income and climate vulnerable countries to deal with the deadly consequences they are already experiencing from global heating caused by burning fossil fuels.

COP27: Developing nations demand urgent action

As the country that has contributed most to global emissions, the US has also been criticized for blocking negotiations on financing the loss and damage faced by countries on the frontline of climate change — like Pakistan, where flooding this year killed some 1,700 people and caused economic losses amounting to 10% of its Gross Domestic Product.

US still falling not on track to limit global temperature rise

While Biden said the US will meet its 2030 Paris climate targets,Climate Action Tracker said that even with the IRA, US climate policies and action are still "insufficient" to limit the global average temperature rise to below the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) upper target set by the 2015 Paris Agreement . 

And although the Democrats didn't experience the drubbing they'd expected in the Senate and House midterm elections, some are concerned that Biden's climate plans could be scuppered if Republicans take control of Congress. Not all results have been called.

A man at a voting booth in the US midterms
Democrats did better in the midterms than expected, raising hopes for climate actionImage: Shannon Stapleton/REUTERS

But Samantha Gross, head of climate and energy studies at the centrist Brookings Institution think tank, told AP news agency that even if Republicans take control of Congress, they won't have a veto-proof majority.

The Biden administration has also packaged the act in a way that will make it hard for the Republicans to overturn.

"It's a lot of tax credits and goodies that make it hard to repeal," Gross said.

Biden to discuss new proposals on potent greenhouse gas methane

Biden also discussed proposed new rules aimed at slashing methane emissions. At the COP26 held last year in Glasgow, countries led by the US and European Union pledged a 30% cut to methane emissions by 2030 from 2020 levels.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the earth's atmosphere. It's responsible for about a third of global warming, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Cutting methane emissions is "our best chance of keeping in reach of the 1.5 degrees Celsius target" in the short term, said Biden. 

An aerial view of a gas plant
The US has updated proposals to cut methane leaks from oil and gas wells Image: Yuri Smityuk/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

An EPA statement published Friday said the new rules would now also target smaller oil and gas wells that emit less than 3 tons  (2.7 metric tonnes) of methane a year. The proposal also establishes a program that would require operators to respond to "credible third-party reports of high-volume methane leaks."

"The agency estimates that in 2030, the proposal would reduce methane from covered sources by 87% below 2005 levels," said the statement.

With reporting from Associated Press. 

Edited by: Tamsin Walker