Earthjustice Statement on Obama Administration’s Enhanced GHG Reduction Pledge Submitted to United Nations

U.S. leadership in critical year welcomed, but more can and must be done


Alyssa Ritterstein, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5243

Today the Obama Administration announced its pledge to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions as part of its effort to secure an international agreement in Paris at the end of the year.

In their formal submission to the United Nations the United States committed to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 levels by 2025. President Obama’s previous commitment was to reduce emissions by 17 percent below its 2005 levels by 2020. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement this morning declaring that the U.S. could not meet this pledge.

The following is a statement by Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice’s Vice President of Litigation for Climate and Energy:

“We commend the President and his administration for putting an important commitment forward in the international climate negotiation arena. It is a powerful signal to the world that 2015 is the time to act together on climate change and enhance the chances of success in December.

“Yet, more needs to be done. We are confident that a strengthened Clean Power Plan, combined with methane emission reductions from oil and gas, and broader deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy, can significantly exceed today’s commitment.

“We also encourage Americans to stand up to the climate deniers in Congress, currently led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is doing everything thing in his power to block progress on reducing climate pollution.  

“Fortunately, Senator McConnell is dead wrong in suggesting that America can't achieve the emissions reductions that the Administration has promised. In fact, we can do even better. Our action today is essential to create the kind of world we want our children and future generations to inhabit.”

Smokestacks loom up from a hazy sky, tinged with orange, at sunset.
Smokestacks loom up from a hazy sky, tinged with orange, at sunset. (Shutterstock)

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Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.