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EXPLAINER: How come nations' climate targets don't compare?

WASHINGTON – This week's climate change summit features lots of talk from different nations about their goals for reducing carbon emissions. But in the weird world of national climate pledges, numbers often aren’t quite what they seem.

Sometimes a 55% reduction is about equal to 50% to 52%. Sometimes it’s even less. Sometimes it’s way more.

As part of the Paris climate agreement process, each nation picks its own national goals for how much greenhouse gas should be cut by 2030 and — crucially — what baseline year it starts counting from for those cuts. That makes it difficult to compare countries’ emissions-cutting pledges to see who is promising more.

US AND EU GOALS

Both the United States and the European Union are offering

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WASHINGTON – This week's climate change summit features lots of talk from different nations about their goals for reducing carbon emissions. But in the weird world of national climate pledges, numbers often aren’t quite what they seem.
an open letter published on the eve of Earth Day 2021, the group of former presidents and government officials, scientists, novelists and activists urge leaders around the globe "to act now to avoid a climate catastrophe by stopping the expansion of oil, gas and coal.""Climate change is threatening hundreds of millions of lives, livelihoods across every continent and is putting thousands of species at risk," the letter states.

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