Hours after being sworn in as president of the United States, Joe Biden made his first significant moves in the White House, including the signing of an executive order to reunite the Paris climate agreement.
As a result, the United States will officially return to its historic commitment to limit warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius in 30 days. The United States left the deal on November 4, 2020, the day after the presidential election, under the leadership of former President Donald Trump.
“A cry for survival comes from [the] planet itself, “Biden said in his inaugural speech, “A cry that could not be more desperate or clearer.”
The Paris Agreement has always been more of a symbolic commitment than a substantive one. For the Trump administration, abandoning the agreement indicated that the The United States relinquished its role as a climate leader to double instead of being a nation based on the extraction of fossil fuels. Now, under Biden’s administration, the move – part of a burst of the first actions it changes Trump’s agenda throughout, from immigration to the pandemic response – symbolizing that the country is more committed than ever to tackling the climate crisis.
Even before Biden signed the executive order, the climate community began to garner praise.
“Welcome to the Paris climate agreement,” tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron.
“At the meeting on the Paris agreement, President Biden will immediately signal that it is a new day for the United States’ commitment to climate change,” said Helen Mountford, vice president of climate and climate change. economics at the Institute of World Resources. “To regain confidence and credibility, this action must be pursued by an ambitious U.S. climate goal by 2030 and significantly improved climate finance for vulnerable countries.”
The need for action has never been more urgent, as the world is on the brink of catastrophic global warming. more than 3 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels if nothing changes. Last week, scientists announced that 2020 has actually read up 2016 as well the hottest year on record. In the United States, last year’s hurricane and fire bombing led to record number of disasters causing damage to at least $ 1 billion.
Biden has campaigned on the most aggressive climate platform of any presidential candidate, including repeatedly pledging to convene the Paris agreement on the first day of his presidency.
Since Biden won the election, the incoming administration has called for address climate change among its priorities and immediately began laying the groundwork for implementing space changes.
The transition team announced in November that John Kerry, Barack Obama’s former secretary of state, would serve in the newly created position of special presidential envoy for climate change. In this role, Kerry will oversee the country’s international climate talks, including its participation in the Paris agreement.
After December, the transition team presented plans for a newly created White House Domestic Climate Policy Office, led by Gina McCarthy, Former head of the Obama Environmental Protection Agency.
Although Democrats now lead the Senate by a slim majority, Biden is expected to rely more on the executive order and new regulations to promulgate his climate agenda. Passing bold legislation through a highly divided Congress, where many Republican members still question the urgency of the crisis and uphold the continued confidence in fossil fuels, is expected to be a daunting challenge.
As part of Biden’s initial climate action, he ordered federal agencies to review the various climate rules finalized under the previous administration of fuel economy relaxation and emission standards, emission standards of methane, and of equipment and building efficiency standards. It is also re-establishing the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and revoking the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.