Cars drive down the 110 Freeway toward downtown Los Angeles, California in April 2021. President Biden has pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.
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August 9, 20212:15 PM ET
The United Nations just released its landmark climate report, urging countries to urgently cut their greenhouse gas emissions or else face catastrophic consequences.
So what exactly should the Biden administration do?
Climate scientist Allison Crimmins heads the National Climate Assessment, a government report that evaluates how the U.S. is doing on issues related to climate change. She spoke with NPR’s Noel King about her takeaways from today’s report.
“Climate change isn’t something that’s happening far away to someone else in some far-off future time,” she says. “It’s really happening here and now, to us.”
Crimmins says it’s both the changes and the rate of changes that are so troubling, and unprecedented.
And she notes that Americans are already observing the impacts in their own backyards: wildfires in the West, flooding in the Midwest and Northeast, hurricane damage in the South and the impact of rising sea levels along the coast.
Every additional bit of warming will affect all of the things we care about in the U.S., from health to transportation to agriculture, she says.