Hours after being sworn in as president of the United States, Joe Biden made his first important strikes within the White House, together with signing an government order to rejoin the Paris local weather settlement.
As a consequence, the US will formally return to the historic dedication to restrict warming to effectively under 2 levels Celsius in 30 days. The US left the settlement on Nov. 4, 2020, the day after the presidential election, underneath the path of former president Donald Trump.
“A cry for survival comes from [the] planet itself,” Biden stated in his inauguration speech, “a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.”
The Paris settlement has all the time been extra a symbolic dedication than a substantive one. For the Trump administration, ditching the accord indicated that the US was relinquishing its position as a local weather chief to as an alternative double down on being a nation that depends on fossil gas extraction. Now, underneath the Biden administration, the transfer — a part of a flurry of early actions reversing Trump’s agenda on every little thing from immigration to the pandemic response — symbolizes that the nation is extra dedicated than ever to tackling the local weather disaster.
Even earlier than Biden signed the chief order, the local weather group began heaping on the reward.
“Welcome back to the Paris climate agreement,” tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron.
“In rejoining the Paris agreement, President Biden will immediately signal that it’s a new day for US engagement on climate change,” Helen Mountford, vp of local weather and economics on the World Resources Institute, stated in an announcement. “To regain trust and credibility, this action must be followed by an ambitious US climate target for 2030 and significantly scaled up climate finance for vulnerable countries.”
The want for motion has by no means been extra pressing, because the world is on observe for a catastrophic warming of greater than 3 levels Celsius in comparison with preindustrial ranges if nothing modifications. Last week, scientists introduced that 2020 successfully tied 2016 because the warmest yr on report. In the US, final yr’s barrage of hurricanes and wildfires resulted in a report variety of disasters inflicting at the least $1 billion in injury.
Biden campaigned on probably the most aggressive local weather platform of any presidential candidate, together with repeatedly committing to rejoining the Paris settlement on the primary day of his presidency.
Since Biden gained the election, the incoming administration named addressing local weather change amongst its high priorities and instantly started laying the groundwork to enact sweeping modifications.
The transition crew introduced in November that John Kerry, Barack Obama’s former secretary of state, would serve within the newly created place of particular presidential envoy on local weather. In this position, Kerry will oversee the nation’s worldwide local weather talks, together with its participation within the Paris settlement.
Then in December, the transition crew unveiled plans for a newly created White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, headed up by Gina McCarthy, Obama’s former Environmental Protection Agency head.
Though the Democrats now lead the Senate by a slim majority, Biden is predicted to rely extra closely on government orders and new laws to enact his local weather agenda. Passing daring laws by way of a sharply divided Congress, the place many Republican members nonetheless query the urgency of the disaster and assist continued reliance on fossil fuels, is predicted to be a steep problem.
As a part of Biden’s preliminary local weather actions, he’s directing federal companies to assessment numerous local weather guidelines finalized underneath the earlier administration enjoyable car gas economic system and emissions requirements, methane emissions requirements, and equipment and constructing effectivity requirements. He can also be reestablishing the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and revoking the presidential allow for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.