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US to Pledge 28% Emission Cut in Treaty03/31 06:12

   The United States will pledge Tuesday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions up 
to 28 percent as part of a global treaty aimed at preventing the worst effects 
of climate change, according to individuals briefed on the White House's plans.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States will pledge Tuesday to cut its 
greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent as part of a global treaty aimed at 
preventing the worst effects of climate change, according to individuals 
briefed on the White House's plans.

   The Obama administration's contribution to the treaty, which world leaders 
expect to finalize in December, codifies a commitment President Barack Obama 
first made late last year in Beijing, when he announced a joint U.S.-China 
climate deal that raised global hopes that developed and developing nations can 
come together to fight climate change.

   The U.S. proposal has drawn intense interest around the world. Most nations 
will miss Tuesday's informal deadline to convey their contributions to the U.N. 
--- only the EU, Switzerland and Mexico unveiled their pledges before the U.S. 
By announcing its commitment early, the U.S. hopes to dial up the political 
pressure on other countries to take equally ambitious steps to cut emissions.

   The White House declined to comment ahead of the official announcement.

   In the works for years, the treaty is set to be finalized in Paris in 
December. If it's successful, it will mark the first time all nations --- not 
just wealthier ones like the U.S. --- will have agreed to do something about 
climate change.

   As part of its proposal, known to climate negotiators as an Intended 
Nationally Determined Contribution, the U.S. will also assert that its 
contribution is both ambitious and fair, said the individuals briefed on the 
U.S. proposal, who requested anonymity because the proposal hasn't been 
announced.

   It was unclear what metrics the U.S. would use to back up that claim. But 
the American proposal is expected to emphasize that the Obama administration 
has accelerated the rate of emissions reductions nearly twofold. Early in his 
presidency, Obama committed to cut U.S. emissions 17 percent by 2020; his 
subsequent goal for 2025 pushes it to between 26 percent and 28 percent.

   How will the U.S. meet its goal? The Obama administration has avoided 
putting hard numbers on the size of emissions reductions it expects from 
specific steps its taking. In its submission, the EU listed specific economic 
sectors --- such as transportation, energy and manufacturing --- where it 
expects major reductions, and named the specific greenhouse gases it plans to 
cut.

   In contrast, the U.S. is expected to point broadly to the steps Obama is 
taking through executive action, such as pollution limits on power plants, 
stricter vehicle emissions limits, and initiatives targeting specific gases 
like methane and hydrofluorocarbons.

   Many of those steps face major legal challenges and intense political 
opposition, raising the risk that they could be undermined or even discarded 
once Obama leaves office in 2017.

   "Considering that two-thirds of the U.S. federal government hasn't even 
signed off on the Clean Power Plan and 13 states have already pledged to fight 
it, our international partners should proceed with caution before entering into 
a binding, unattainable deal," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, 
R-Ky.


(KA)


 
 
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