The United States has officially rejoined the Paris climate accords on Friday, several months after leaving the agreement under the Trump administration.
The story: The U.S. returns to the agreements as part of the new administration’s pledge to addressed climate change. Biden signed an executive order to start the process for the U.S. to reenter the pact hours after he was sworn into office.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken celebrated the move on Twitter.
It’s a good day in our fight against the climate crisis, as the United States is once again a Party to the Paris Agreement. The work to reduce our emissions has already begun, and we will waste no time in engaging our partners around the world to build our global resilience.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 19, 2021
In a separate statement, he lauded the agreement.
“The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented framework for global action. We know because we helped design it and make it a reality,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “Its purpose is both simple and expansive: to help us all avoid catastrophic planetary warming and to build resilience around the world to the impacts from climate change we already see.”
“Climate change and science diplomacy can never again be ‘add-ons’ in our foreign policy discussions. Addressing the real threats from climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our domestic and foreign policy priorities. It is vital in our discussions of national security, migration, international health efforts, and in our economic diplomacy and trade talks,” he said.
Today, the United States re-joined the #ParisAgreement – the international response to the climate crisis.
But what exactly is the Paris Agreement? And how does it work? pic.twitter.com/JOnm9s7iRf
— UN Climate Change (@UNFCCC) February 19, 2021
Under the Paris climate accords, which have been signed by a little under 200 countries, the U.S. has to reduce its emission by about 25% by 2025.
The agreement is a commitment from the signatories to limit their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to ensure that global warming remains below 2 degrees Celsius. The goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions is supposed to rise every five years, though the pandemic put those plans on hold.
Worth noting: Many people who are advocating for action on climate change, including White House adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall, this week pointed to the freezing temperatures in Texas as evidence that climate change is real.
How we got here: Former President Trump announced in 2017 that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris agreement, however, the exit was made official on Nov. 4, 2020. The U.S. was out of the agreement for a total of 107 days.
What’s next? Biden is expected to hold a climate summit of world leaders on April 22 when he will lay out the U.S. goal for carbon emissions reduction by 2030.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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