In response to today’s release of the new US climate target (US NDC), Abby Maxman, President and CEO of Oxfam America, made the following statement:
“President Biden’s new climate target demonstrates that he and his administration are serious about tackling the climate crisis – but the hard work is just beginning.
“While this new commitment is a positive step in the right direction and worth celebrating, more action is urgently needed to avert dangerous climate change impacts that are already disproportionately harming those who are most vulnerable, especially women and marginalized communities.
“This new target must only be the beginning of the Biden administration’s efforts in the fight against climate change. We urge the administration to ramp up its ambition in the years to come and ensure that climate action is grounded in equity and justice.
“While a 50-52% reduction in emissions is more ambitious than previous targets, such a reduction is still not in line with the US’ fair share of emission reductions in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and prevent a rise in average global temperatures of more than 1.5°C/2.7°F.
“The richest one percent of the world’s population are responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the 3.1 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. Yet it is the world’s poorest who are hit the hardest by the impacts of climate change.
“As the world’s richest country and largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, the US owes it to the world's most vulnerable to increase its emissions reductions target in order to prevent additional climate change impacts.
“As the US continues to develop and implement its Nationally Determined Contribution, we hope that the Biden Administration will prioritize the most vulnerable by ensuring that global environmental justice and gender justice is at the heart of these emissions reduction efforts as well as significantly scale up financial investments to support adaptation and resilience.”
Notes: The richest 10 percent accounted for over half (52 percent) of the emissions added to the atmosphere between 1990 and 2015. The richest one percent were responsible for 15 percent of emissions during this time – more than all the citizens of the EU and more than twice that of the poorest half of humanity (7 percent). Download Oxfam’s report, ‘Confronting Carbon Inequality,’ for more information.