U.S. Formally Commits to Lowering Total Carbon Emissions
On March 31, 2015, the U.S. submitted its 2025 carbon emissions reduction target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) formalizes the pledge the U.S. made in November of 2014 to reduce emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The New York Times notes the Obama Administration is relying on emission cuts enacted earlier in the Administration to meet the proposed reduction goals. Secretary of State John Kerry also addressed the submission of the U.S. INDC and encouraged other nations to come forward with their own targets.
Notably, on March 27, Mexico became the first major emerging economy to officially submit an INDC and, in conjunction with their pledge, announced a joint climate policy task force with the U.S. to improve policy and regulatory coordination. According to the Washington Post, 30 countries representing 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions have submitted targets to the UNFCCC, with more national pledges expected leading up to climate treaty talks in Paris in December. For more information on submitted INDCs, the World Resources Institute has developed an interactive map to track, view and compare national targets as they are submitted to the UNFCCC.