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Biden pledges U.S. will cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by 2030

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President Biden is attempting to turn his words at the virtual global climate summit into action after pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by more than 50% by 2030. The effort to lower the Earth's temperature puts the U.S. on the same page as Russia and China. Christina Ruffini reports.

Video Transcript

- President Biden is attempting to turn his words at the Global Climate Summit into action after pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the US by more than 50% by 2030. The effort to lower the Earth's temperature theoretically puts the US on the same page as Russia and China. And it comes ahead of the president's first joint address to Congress next week. Christina Ruffini has more from the White House this morning. Good morning, Christina.

CHRISTINA RUFFINI: Good morning. The two-day global virtual summit was a rare show of solidarity between world leaders who haven't exactly been the best of friends. There was that tense meeting with the Chinese and Alaska. Moscow and Washington have been expelling each other's diplomats, but those issues didn't come up. For the most part, leaders stuck to the script and talked about the urgent need to address climate change.

JOE BIDEN: When we invest in climate resilience and infrastructure, we create opportunities for everyone.

CHRISTINA RUFFINI: In what was essentially a geopolitical Zoom session.

- I pledge to reduce Israel's carbon footprint.

- Concrete action is needed.

CHRISTINA RUFFINI: The leaders of 40 countries, including China and Russia, put aside simmering transnational tensions to talk about climate change.

- Environment concerns the well-being of people in all countries.

- Russia makes a gigantic contribution to absorbing global emissions.

JOE BIDEN: As much as the president of Russia and I disagree, that two big nations can cooperate to get something done.

CHRISTINA RUFFINI: The two-day virtual summit was long on speeches and short on commitments, but there did seem to be agreement that good environmentalism is also good for the economy.

BORIS JOHNSON: This is not all about some expensive politically correct green act of, of, of, of bunny hugging. This is about growth and jobs.

CHRISTINA RUFFINI: Something the Biden administration says it addresses in its proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes money for solar, wind, and other renewable industries.

JOE BIDEN: We must ensure that workers who have thrived in yesterday's and today's industries have as bright as tomorrow in the new industries.

CHRISTINA RUFFINI: Yesterday, the Department of Energy announced hundreds million program to help coal and gas workers impacted by the president's pledge to cut fossil fuel emissions by 50% over the next decade, but Republicans argue a rapid move away from fossil fuels could harm the communities that still depend on them.

MITCH MCCONNELL: Democrats zeal for imposing costly environmental agendas on our own country is not something our biggest foreign competitors seem to share.

CHRISTINA RUFFINI: President Biden will address those issues and more in a speech to a joint session of Congress next week. He's here at the White House this morning before leaving for his house in Delaware. But first, he's expected to designate the 1915 killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as a genocide. Turkey rejects that designation and says those deaths were due to regional conflict at the time. Dana.

- All right. Christina, thank you.