Bioenergy firms urge Biden to set climate target in open letter

Drax Group, Enviva, SUEZ, and National Grid are among 310 businesses and investors in the US that signed an open letter to President Biden indicating their support for the Administration’s commitment to climate action but requesting that the US set an ‘ambitious’ climate target.

The letter, organised by the We Mean Business coalition and Ceres, urges the Administration to set a  target of cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

An excerpt from the letter reads: “To restore the standing of the US as a global leader, we need to address the climate crisis at the pace and scale it demands. Specifically, the US must adopt an emissions reduction target that will place the country on a credible pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“We, therefore, call on you to adopt the ambitious and attainable target of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.”

The letter demonstrates the US business and investor communities’ strong support for a highly ambitious 2030 emissions reduction target, or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), pursuant to the Paris Agreement, in pursuit of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

The latest climate modelling shows that at least halving emissions by 2030 is achievable, and provides strong economic benefits. The Biden Administration is expected to announce its NDC before the Leaders Summit on Climate.

Business signatories of the letter collectively represent more than $3 trillion (€2.5 trillion) in annual revenue and employ nearly 6 million US workers, ranging from small and medium-sized businesses to large multinational corporations, and represent a range of industries, including bioenergy.

“A strong national emissions reduction target is just what we need to catalyse a net-zero emissions future and build back a more equitable and inclusive economy,” said Anne Kelly, vice-president of government relations at Ceres.

“Businesses of all sizes recognise that reducing emissions is vital to keeping the US competitive and protecting the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. By setting a strong target, the Biden Administration can ensure the US is ready to return to its role as a global climate leader and spur further action from the private sector.”

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