In honor of Earth Day, President Joe Biden promised that the United States would work to cut emissions in half by the year 2030. The announcement came during the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate where Biden broadcasted his plan to address greenhouse gas emissions in the US. The summit centers itself around solving the most expansive, all-encompassing problem facing the world today: Climate change. President Biden opened up the summit by committing to reduce US greenhouse emissions by 50 to 52 percent below its 2005 levels by 2030.

By bringing world leaders from the world’s top economies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the summit aims to create a coalition between the countries that will benefit the worldwide environment. With environmental damages becoming more pressing every day, the summit is meant to unify the world in an international effort to combat climate change.

“That’s where we’re headed as a nation, and that’s what we can do if we take action to build an economy that’s not only more prosperous but healthier, fairer, and cleaner for the entire planet,” Biden said. “These steps will set America’s economy to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.”

Before the summit, Biden resituated the country’s position when it comes to international environmental efforts. On his first day in office, he signed the executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement after President Trump previously left the accord in 2017. Biden vocalized that his administration believes that fighting climate change is a “moral imperative” and believes that it's essential to take action in the upcoming decade. Under the Biden Administration, the President hopes to reorient the United States as a global leader in environmental efforts.

“No nation can solve this crisis on our own, as I know you all fully understand. All of us, all of us and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economics, we have to step up,” the President said. “You know those that do take action and make a bold investment of their people in clean energy future will win the good jobs tomorrow, and make their economies more resilient and more competitive.”

The President was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris to call on world leaders to take responsibility for the planet and the detriments that its industries cause. The commitment to cutting greenhouse emissions is only the beginning of the global effort and Vice President Harris hopes that within the next decade the international community can address environmental issues together.

“As a global community, it is imperative that we act quickly and together to confront this crisis,” Harris said. “This will require innovation and collaboration around the world.”

Following the summit, world leaders reaffirmed their commitments to cutting carbon and greenhouse emissions. President Xi Jinping reasserted that China is committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.

“Combined with existing commitments to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 from the EU, the UK, and other major economies including China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, major governments are now committing to the significant effort required for the world to meet net-zero emissions by 2050,” Managing Director of the World Economic Forum Dominic Waughray told LiveKindly.

Biden’s commitment to cutting greenhouse emissions and striving towards better environmental policies gives way to serious change that could properly address the dangers of climate change. Beyond world leaders, there are also ways for individuals to help combat climate change: PETA just challenged everyone to “Go Vegan for the Earth Day” to raise awareness about how individual practice impacts the environment. To prepare for the necessary change, it will take everyone at every level to make the difference that counts in the global fight against climate change.