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US President Joe Biden will pledge to cut his country’s greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by 2030 as he convenes a virtual climate summit with 40 world leaders, according to three people with knowledge of the White House plans.

The 50 per cent target would nearly double the nation’s previous commitment and help the Biden administration prod other countries for ambitious emissions cuts as well.

The proposal would require dramatic changes in the power and transportation sectors, including significant increases in renewable energy such as wind and solar power and steep cuts in emissions from fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

The non-binding but symbolically important pledge is a key element of the two-day summit, which begins this week as world leaders gather online to share strategies to combat climate change.

The emissions target has been eagerly awaited by all sides of the climate debate.

It will signal how aggressively Mr Biden wants to move on global warming, a divisive and expensive issue that has riled Republicans to complain about job-killing government overreach even as some on the left worry Mr Biden has not gone far enough to address a profound threat to the planet.

The three people who know about the White House plans spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the pledge ahead of Mr Biden’s announcement.

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