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Statement from The Nature Conservancy on the U.S. Commitment in Advance of Paris Climate Change Meeting


The United States government announced its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, i.e., its “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” (INDC), in advance of the United Nations Climate Conference to be held in Paris later this year. The following is a statement from The Nature Conservancy’s Director of International Climate Policy, Duncan Marsh.

“The plan, announced by the White House, is to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% (compared to 2005 levels) by 2025. The U.S. INDC is an early entry in the pledges to action that are expected from all nations prior to the negotiation in Paris in December. Collectively, these pledges represent a new era of global cooperation to meet the challenge of climate change.

“The Nature Conservancy welcomes this U.S. pledge, as well of those from the other countries who have announced their commitments. The European Union has put forward the goal of reducing emissions by 40% from 1990 levels, and other countries including Russia, Mexico, Norway and Switzerland have also pledged emissions cuts. Late last year, in an announcement with the U.S., China also indicated their willingness to contribute to addressing climate change, including by peaking their emissions by 2030, and increasing the role of non-fossil fuel energy to 20% by then. These pledges are not yet sufficient to keep climate change within safe levels, however, and we encourage each country to strive to do more.

“The U.S. and other countries’ INDCs presented thus far set good models for transparency and clarity, critical elements for understanding the nature of all the pledges being put forward in preparation for Paris. In addition to specifying an overall target, the U.S. pledge spells out many of the policies and actions to get there – some of which are in place and effectively reducing emissions already. We encourage all countries to use a similarly transparent approach in their INDCs, which will contribute to both the political will and the technical understanding needed to generate accord in Paris.

“These early Paris pledges signal that governments globally are turning the corner to taking the actions necessary to address climate change. In addition to these national efforts, both municipalities and the private sector have the opportunity to take steps to align with INDCs that can generate significant benefits for ecosystems, jobs, competitiveness, and human health in all countries.

“The Nature Conservancy welcomes these pledges as initial positive signals for the 2015 international climate discussions, and we look forward to other governments coming forth with ambitious and transparent contributions as soon as possible leading up to Paris. We also encourage the private sector, subnational governments, civil society and other actors to make low-carbon, climate-resilient commitments of their own to complement these national contributions and strengthen overall ambition.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at


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