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White House Releases Plan to Cut Greenhouse Emissions


Cars traveling on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Washington, D.C. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
Cars traveling on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Washington, D.C. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)

The White House on Tuesday released President Barack Obama's proposal to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels within the next decade as part of a global treaty to tackle climate change.

The proposal includes several policies already in effect, such as higher fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, energy efficiency measures for buildings and appliances, and programs to eliminate the use of the polluting refrigerant HFC.

In an Internet post, the White House pointed to upcoming rules to limit emissions from the oil industry and carbon pollution from power plants.

The plan follows Obama's pledge last November in Beijing to reduce U.S. climate warming emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. It comes ahead of the U.N. climate change talks in Paris in December.

"Over the last eight years, the U.S. has cut carbon pollution more than any other country," said White House senior adviser Brian Deese, who described the proposal as both "ambitious and achievable."

"In the U.S. we don't need to choose between economic growth and protecting our planet for future generations," he said.

Deese said the overall target is to reduce emissions up to 80 percent by 2050.

Jennifer Morgan, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute, said, "The United States' proposal shows that it is ready to lead by example on the climate crisis."

"This is a serious and achievable commitment," she added. " ...The United States' acknowledgment of the need for 'deep decarbonization' sends a positive signal."

The submission makes the United States one of 34 countries to submit its climate action plan to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The U.S. joins all the countries under the European Union, as well as Russia, Mexico, Norway and Switzerland.

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