The U.S. government formally committed itself Tuesday to reduce its greenhouse emissions between 26-28 percent by the year 2025 from the nation's 2005 levels, a goal set last November and which will be put on the table at the U.N. conference in Paris late this year.
That goal, set by President Barack Obama during his visit to China last November, is included in a document Washington sent Tuesday to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, the White House senior adviser Brian Deese announced Tuesday.
The goal established by Obama signifies double the reduction previously planned for between 2005-2020, and was part of an accord with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who vowed that China's emission levels will reach their highest point in 2030, after which they will gradually be reduced.
"The United States' target is ambitious and achievable, and we have the tools we need to reach it. The goal will roughly double the pace at which we're reducing carbon pollution through cost-effective measures using laws already on the books," Deese said in a message on the Web site Medium.
"With today's submission of the U.S. 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," Deese said..
"That includes Mexico, our close economic partner, which set a high standard of ambition for similar countries when they became the first emerging economy to submit their climate target to the U.N.," Obama's adviser said.
The Mexican government committed itself last Friday to reduce by 25 percent the country's greenhouse gas emissions previously forecast for 2030, a cut that could climb to 40 percent with international aid.
The rest of the countries with the most emissions that have already sent concrete commitments to the United Nations about what they will do after 2020 are the 28 countries of the European Union and China, according to Deese.
"It's time for other countries to do what the United States, Mexico, and the E.U. members have done and submit timely, transparent, measurable, and above all ambitious targets for cutting carbon pollution and building lower-carbon economies to the UNFCCC," Deese noted.
The Paris conference will be the first time in the more than 20 years of climate change negotiations that all countries without exception, developed or emerging, will have to commit to taking action against this problem.
The United States wants the majority of those countries to establish their emission-reduction goals before the Paris conference, and particularly speaks of the need for emerging nations to set their targets as well.