Here’s what countries pledged on climate change at Biden’s global summit

Key Points
  • Leaders of countries like Brazil, Japan and Canada made commitments on Thursday to curb greenhouse gas emissions during President Joe Biden's climate summit.
  • The pledges by U.S. allies and adversaries come shortly after Biden vowed to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
  • The president convened the summit in an effort to urge global cooperation on climate change. "We're really beginning to make some real progress," Biden told leaders during the summit.
Biden: Strength of economy depends on climate action

Leaders of countries like Brazil, Canada and Japan made commitments on Thursday to curb domestic greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change during President Joe Biden's climate summit.

The pledges come shortly after Biden vowed to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 50% by 2030, more than doubling the country's prior commitment under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The president convened the summit to urge global cooperation on climate change. "It's an encouraging start," Biden told world leaders during the summit. "We're really beginning to make some real progress."

In a split from his past attitude toward climate change, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro vowed to end illegal deforestation in the country by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Bolsonaro has previously criticized protections of the country's forests and threatened to withdraw from the Paris accord. Brazil has asked the Biden administration to provide $1 billion to pay for conservation efforts in the Amazon rainforest.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the country will pledge to curb emissions by 46% by 2030 compared with 2013 levels. Japan, the world's fifth largest emitter, previously committed to a 26% reduction, a goal that was criticized as insufficient.

"Japan is ready to demonstrate its leadership for worldwide decarbonization," Suga said at the summit. Like the U.S., Japan has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, flanked by Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, attends an anti-global warming government task force meeting in Tokyo, Japan April 22, 2021.
Kyodo | via Reuters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed that Canada will slash emissions 40% to 45% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, a major increase from its previous pledge of 30%.

"We will continually strengthen our plan and take even more actions on our journey to net zero by 2050," Trudeau said during the summit.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't provide a new target but re-confirmed the country's vow to install 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.

Modi also announced an India-U.S. Climate and Clean Energy Agenda Partnership for 2030. India is the world's third largest emitter behind China and the U.S.

Russia President Vladimir Putin broadly pledged to "significantly" reduce the country's emissions in the next three decades and said Russia makes a big contribution in absorbing global carbon dioxide.

Putin also said the country has nearly halved its emissions compared to 1990 and called for a global reduction of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a main driver of climate change.

"The fate of our entire planet, the development prospects of each country, the well-being and quality of life of people largely depend on the success of these efforts," Putin said at the summit.

China's President Xi Jinping re-affirmed commitments to peak emissions before 2030 and go carbon neutral by 2060. The U.S. and China have agreed to cooperate on climate change despite division on issues like trade and human rights.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a virtual global climate summit via a video link in Brasilia, Brazil April 22, 2021.
Marcos Correa | Reuters

South Korea President Moon Jae In said that Korea will end public financing of coal-fired power plants overseas and plans to unveil a stronger emissions reduction pledge.

Some countries praised Biden for hosting the summit and bringing the U.S. back into the Paris accord. Former President Donald Trump's administration exited the agreement and halted all federal efforts to reduce emissions.

"I'm delighted to see that the United States is back to work together with us in climate politics, because there can be no doubt about the world needing your contribution," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the summit.

Nations under the Paris agreement are set to unveil updated emissions targets for the next decade at the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Biden pledges to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030