Leading businesses and investors have issued a call on the Biden administration to set bold 2030 emissions reduction targets.

In an open letter to the President organized and published by the We Mean Business coalition and non-profit sustainability organization Ceres, a group of 310 businesses and investors representing over $3 trillion in annual revenue, and more than $1 trillion in assets under management, respectively, urged the administration to adopt a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

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The letter states:

“A bold 2030 target is needed to catalyze a zero-emissions future, spur a robust economic recovery, create millions of well-paying jobs, and allow the U.S. to “build back better” from the pandemic. New investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation can build a strong, more equitable, and more inclusive American economy. A 2030 target will also guide the U.S. government’s approach to more sustainable and resilient infrastructure, zero-emissions vehicles and buildings, improved agricultural practices, and durable carbon removal. Finally, the commitment would inspire other industrialized nations to set bold targets of their own.”

The letter comes as the administration prepares to unveil its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) outlining its interim climate goals, forming a key part of the commitments made by countries as part of their participation in the Paris Agreement.

Biden has made climate action a key focus of his new administration, with high profile initiatives including returning the U.S. to the Paris Agreement on his first day in office, the signing of executive actions aimed at promoting the transition to renewable energy, and the recent release of his American Jobs Plan, allocating massive amounts of expenditure to key sustainable investment areas including clean energy, electrification, climate resilience and emissions reduction technologies.

Last month, the President invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate that he will host on April 22 and 23, and committed to announce the country’s NDC prior to the conference.

The campaign follows similar initiatives in other countries urging climate commitments. In December 2020, a coalition of businesses investors and sustainability organizations called on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to set an ambitious interim target, followed by an announcement by the PM of an NDC targeting a 68% emissions reduction by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.            

In today’s letter, the businesses and investors commit to work alongside the administration in addressing climate change. The letter concludes:

“If you raise the bar on our national ambition, we will raise our own ambition to move the U.S. forward on this journey. While an effective national climate strategy will require all of us, you alone can set the course by swiftly establishing a bold U.S. 2030 target.

“Mr. President, we ask that you invest in a resilient, economically sound, net zero-emissions future for all. You can count on our support.”