US President Biden Welcomed Back To Paris Agreement

US President Joe Biden

Image: WhiteHouse.gov

Trump’s gone – and one of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first actions today is kicking off the process for the USA to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

It was back in June 2017 that Donald Trump announced the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. That took effect on November 4, 2020 – just a day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

When making the announcement in 2017, Trump said:

“As president, I can put no other consideration before the wellbeing of American citizens”.

..indicating his ignorance of the fact that climate change has, is and will have a very negative effect on American citizens (and everyone else).

On the day the exit officially occurred, Joe Biden tweeted:

“Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.”

While he is making good on that commitment, it will actually take 30 days for the U.S. to formally re-enter the agreement after President Biden sets the ball rolling.

Biden Encouraged To “Go Big” To End The Fossil Fuel Era

President Biden’s action today on his first day in the nation’s job is a strong indicator of a very different – and hopefully much more constructive – presidency ahead.

His anticipated action was applauded by French President Emmanuel Macron just a couple of hours ago, who tweeted:

Best wishes on this most significant day for the American people! We are together. We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!”

Greenpeace USA stated:

“Rejoining the Paris climate agreement is a no-brainer for President Biden, and a move we’re glad to see him take on day one in office. But, if the whole world is going to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the United States has a responsibility to go deeper and get there much faster.”

And 350.org:

“Re-joining the Paris agreement is a vital first step for the US to show global climate leadership, but we need to go beyond that. Now is our time to go big.”

Rather than just “building back better”, both groups (and a bunch of others) want to see a “build back fossil free” approach. The campaign provides 25 key executive actions President Biden can take to end the era of fossil fuel production, better protect the environment and communities impacted by fossil fuels.

On a related note, another environment-related action President Biden is expected to take today is to revoke federal permits for the highly-controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, which was to transport tar sands oil  some 1,900 kilometres from the Canadian province of Alberta to Nebraska.

Looking further ahead, the ultimate goal of President Biden’s climate plan is for the U.S. to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

He has a big job ahead of him generally speaking. Jared Leopold, co-founder of Evergreen Action said:

“Taking over the presidency from Donald Trump is like taking over the lease from a frat house: The cleanup task list is staggering.”

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Geoff Miell says

    Aired on MSNBC TV on Jan 22, Katy Tur interviewed activist Greta Thunberg and climate scientist Michael E Mann – see YouTube video below titled “Greta Thunberg Says ‘Time Will Tell’ If Biden Administration Fulfills Promises On Climate Change”, duration 7:47.

    On Biden’s climate policy, Greta Thunberg said (from time interval 1:22):

    “Of course their climate targets are, are not in line with the… are very far from being in line with the Paris Agreements, and so on, but I guess it’s, it’s a start at least. It gets, it gets the discussion going.”

    Why Biden’s climate policy targets are not in line with the Paris Agreement is explored in: https://www.nature.com/news/three-years-to-safeguard-our-climate-1.22201

    Greta Thunberg said (from time interval 7:11):

    “As long as we then make clear – um… if it’s better than nothing – as long as we make clear that this is very, very far from being enough, and um… and so on. And we must also remember that we can’t negotiate and compromise with the Laws of Physics.”

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