US to reduce carbon emissions by 28% in 10 years

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The White House on Tuesday submitted its new climate change plan to the United Nations, in which it pledged to reduce carbon emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels in the next decade.

"The steps that the United States will take to meet our commitments includes the Clean Power Plan, higher efficiency standards on cars and trucks, improved energy-efficiency standards for buildings, broader efforts to reduce HFCs (potent industrial greenhouse gases) and methane emissions," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest at the daily briefing.

All the measures included in the blueprint will only be implemented by U.S. President Barack Obama's executive authority, since any climate change legislation would most likely be blocked by the Congress now fully controlled by the Republicans.

The U.S. plan reflected an agreement Obama made with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, in which the United States intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 level in 2025 and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28 percent, while China intends to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.

On March 19, Obama signed an executive order directing the federal government to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels.

Under the executive order, the share of electricity the federal government consumes from renewable sources will increase to 30 percent by 2025, and U.S. taxpayers could eventually save up to 18 billion U.S. dollars in avoided energy costs.

The federal government is the single largest consumer of energy in the country, operating 360,000 buildings, 650,000 fleet vehicles, and spending 445 billion dollars annually on goods and services, according to the White House data.

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