Joe Biden has pledged to slash US emissions by 50% by the end of the decade. He has called upon world leaders to confront the climate crisis.

When addressing over 40 leaders virtually in an Earth Day climate summit, he urged and encouraged other countries to “do more” and address global heating while warning that “time is short”.

The White House has said the US will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030; it has been said this will set the US on a path to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Biden administration has also said it is planning to double the amount of US funding given to developing countries which are struggling with climatic events such as drought and flooding.

The pledge, which is to be formally submitted to the UN, comes after a break in which Donald Trump denied climate change impacts. A White House official has stated that the US is not going to wait and that the delay costs are too great.

After the Trump administration pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, it has been said the US is now attempting to regain international credibility. With the pledges coming from other countries, governments internationally that have over half the global economies have targets that are in line with preventing the global average temperatures from rising above 1.5°C.

By shifting to clean energy, Biden has said millions of union jobs will be created and countries that are acting on the climate crisis will “reap the economic benefits”. Biden also encouraged other wealthy countries and private sectors to shift financing away from fossil fuels and into clean energy. Biden and his administration want the US electricity grid to consist of 100% renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2035 to meet its goals.

World leaders have since followed Biden with the President of China, Xi Jinping, urging countries to committing to “harmony between man and nature” and stating China’s emissions will peak quicker than other major economies. Boris Johnson also expressed the importance for financial aid for countries vulnerable to the climate crisis. Japan has also committed to slashing emission by 46% by 2030, Canada is aiming for a 40-45% reduction by 2030 and South Korea has committed to not financing any more overseas coal projects.

Some climate activists have said Biden and his administration need to do more. However, with the US making little progress during Trump’s four years in office, it is seen as a great pledge in making steps to mitigate climate impacts.