Climate Change

The United States Has Officially Rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement

The United States Has Officially Rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement


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President Joe Biden has honored one of his highly anticipated campaign promises: The United States has officially rejoined the Paris climate agreement.

In 2019, former President Donald Trump’s administration announced that it would withdraw the United States from the climate agreement that was supported by nearly every country in the world, a decision that went into effect on Nov. 4, 2020. Biden heavily criticized this decision while campaigning for president and pledged to issue an executive order on his first day in office to reverse the United States’ withdrawal, according to the Guardian.

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Biden signed several executive orders on his first day in office meant to address how the United States responds to climate change. After a 30-day notice period, the nation is once again participating in the international pact to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2015, nearly 200 international parties signed the Paris climate agreement, an international treaty on climate change. It calls for international cooperation to limit global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, requiring countries to set their own national determined contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

“A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.”

World leaders have acknowledged the important symbolism of the United States rejoining the Paris climate agreement, but experts and officials have reaffirmed that the country must take meaningful action to combat climate change.

“Rejoining Paris is just the first step, but it’s a big first step,” said Todd Stern, the lead US negotiator in Paris for the agreement in 2015, according to the Guardian.

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