US to Announce National Carbon Emissions Reduction Target

us carbon reduction target photo

Photo via ABC

It's about time. Just about every other developed nation has already set at least tentative, nonbinding carbon emission reduction goals. Many have done more. It took the USA this long to get even this far: the White House has announced that next month, it will set the first national carbon reduction target for the United States.The announcement is to be made before the global climate talks kick off in Copenhagen, according to the BBC.

While the specific target has yet to be disclosed, sources indicate that it will be in line with those put forward by the climate bills from the House and the Senate--between 17% and 20% reduction from 2005 levels of carbon emissions by 2020. And though this is big news coming from the climate action-phobic United States, it's still small potatoes in the international community of developed countries.

Most nations, for instance, have set their reductions to be measured by the common UN standard of 1990 levels--since the US's carbon emissions have ballooned steadily since then, the targets are likely only to amount to a couple percent reduction in contrast to the pledges made by many European countries. The entire European Union has agreed to 20% carbon reductions from 1990 levels by 2020, for instance. Developing nations are demanding 25-40% reductions before they'll play ball.

Let's just call this yet another teensy step in the right direction.

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