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To Lead on Climate, Biden Must Phase Out Fossil Fuels

April 22, 2021

"As one of the most polluting countries in the history of the world, the United States must commit to its fair share of climate action by reducing absolute emissions 70 percent by 2030. Our leaders should not be fooled by unproven solutions like carbon capture and offsets promoted by the oil and gas industry."

© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

April 22, 2021 — Today, President Biden unveiled the United States’ new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement. Biden has committed the United States to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The commitment does not, however, include targets or timelines for phasing out the production and use of fossil fuels as demanded by science and justice.

In response, Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign Director Janet Redman said:

“We expect more from a president who has repeatedly listed climate change as one of his top priorities. As one of the most polluting countries in the history of the world, the United States must commit to its fair share of climate action by reducing absolute emissions 70 percent by 2030. Our leaders should not be fooled by unproven solutions like carbon capture and offsets promoted by the oil and gas industry. Burning fossil fuels is the leading source of carbon emissions, and air pollution from fossil fuels is a public health crisis — there is no offset for that. Efforts to reduce emissions without phasing out fossil fuel production only perpetuate the racist health impacts of fossil fuel pollution.

“This is a historic moment and our leaders must be bold. We urge President Biden to reject new oil and gas projects, wind down existing fossil fuel extraction, and invest in workers and communities as we transition to a 100 percent renewable economy. To Build Back Better, Joe Biden must Build Back Fossil Free.”

A recent report from Greenpeace USA, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy found that phasing out fossil fuel production would advance President Biden’s stated goals around climate, public health, and racial justice in tandem. Fossil fuels are not only driving the climate crisis, but every phase of fossil fuel production — extraction, transport, refining, and production — disproportionately pollutes Black, Brown, Indigenous, and poor communities.

ENDS

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

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