Timed to coincide with the opening of COP26—the UN Climate Change Conference—and citing his prior commitment to cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50-52 percent by 20301 and achieving a net-zero economy by 2050, on November 1, 2021, President Biden announced the launch of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). This whole-of-government initiative by FY2024 would provide $3 billion annually in adaptation finance to reduce climate impacts on those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide. The announcement constitutes the first US Adaptation Communication under the Paris Agreement, which President Biden rejoined on the first day of his administration.

Concurrently, the Biden administration released the Long-Term Strategy of the United States: Pathways to Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050 (Strategy), which—consistent with the conclusion of the most recent report2 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—states that global warming needs to be limited to 1.5º Celsius.

Importantly, the Strategy refers to a forthcoming set of new policies3 to “accelerate existing emissions reduction trends—for example, expanding rapidly the deployment of new technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps, and building the infrastructure for key systems like our national power grid”—actions intended to help reduce net GHG emissions 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030 and put the United States on a firm footing to meet the net-zero economy goal by 2050.

1 Described more fully in our April 21, 2021, Legal Update “Biden Administration Pledges 50-52% GHG Reduction by 2030.”

2 IPCC, “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK, 2021. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/

3 United States Executive Office of the President, “The U.S. National Climate Strategy.”