Hours after he was sworn in as President of the United States, Joe Biden made his first significant steps at the White House, including signing an Executive Order to join the Paris climate agreement.
As a result, the United States will formally return to a historic commitment to limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius within 30 days. The United States withdrew from the agreement on November 4, 2020, the day after the presidential election, under the direction of former President Donald Trump.
“A cry for survival comes from [the] The planet itself, “Biden said in His inaugural speechCry couldn’t be more desperate or clearer.
The Paris Agreement has always been more of a symbolic commitment than an objective commitment. As for the Trump administration, Abandon the deal He indicated that The United States was relinquishing its role As a climate leader to rather double as a nation dependent on extracting fossil fuels. Now, under the Biden administration, this move – part of A. A flurry of early action Reflecting Trump’s agenda in everything from immigration to responding to the pandemic – symbolizes that the country is more committed than ever to addressing the climate crisis.
Even before Biden signed the executive order, the climate community began heaping praise on it.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “Welcome back to the Paris climate agreement.”
“Going back to the Paris Agreement, President Biden will immediately indicate that it is a new day for the United States to engage on climate change,” Helen Mountford, vice president for climate and economics at the World Resources Institute, said in a statement. “To restore confidence and credibility, this action must follow an ambitious US climate goal of 2030 and significantly increase climate finance for countries at risk.”
The need for action has never been more urgent as the world is on track for catastrophic warming. More than 3 degrees Celsius Compared to pre-industrial levels if nothing changes. Scientists announced last week that 2020 actually equates to 2016 as Hottest year on record. In the United States, last year’s hurricanes and wildfires triggered a storm Record number of disasters causing at least $ 1 billion in damage.
Biden campaigned on the most aggressive climate platform for any presidential candidate, including repeatedly committing to join the Paris Agreement on the first day of his presidency.
Since Biden won the election, the incoming administration has given the title Climate change is among its top priorities And immediately began laying the groundwork for sweeping changes.
The transition team announced in November that John Kerry, former Secretary of State Barack Obama, would serve in the new position as a special presidential envoy on climate. In this position, Kerry will oversee international climate talks in the country, including its participation in the Paris Agreement.
Then, in December, the transition team revealed plans for a newly created White House Office of Local Climate Policy. Headed by Gina McCarthy, Former Obama Environmental Protection Agency chief.
Although Democrats now lead the Senate with a slim majority, Biden is expected to rely more on executive orders and new regulations to enact his climate agenda. Passing bold legislation through a deeply divided Congress, with many Republicans still questioning the urgency of the crisis and supporting continued reliance on fossil fuels, is an acute challenge.
As part of Biden’s initial climate actions, he directs federal agencies to review various climate rules that were completed under the previous administration to reduce vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, methane emissions standards, and instrument and building efficiency standards. It is also re-establishing the Inter-Agency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and revoking the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline.