The United States has officially re-joined the Paris Climate Agreement, reinvigorating the global fight against climate change as the Biden administration plans drastic emissions cuts over the next three decades.
- Mr Trump’s decision to pull-out of the climate pact stood for only 107 days
- Mr Biden signed an executive order to reverse the decision on his first day in office
He has promised to chart a path toward net-zero US emissions by 2050
Scientists and foreign diplomats have welcomed the US return to the treaty, which became official 30 days after President Joe Biden ordered the move on his first day in office.
Since nearly 200 countries signed the 2015 pact to prevent catastrophic climate change, the US was the only country to exit.
Officially, Mr Trump’s removal of the nation from the worldwide global climate pact stood for only 107 days.
The Trump administration had announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2019, but it didn’t become effective until November 4, 2020, the day after the election, because of provisions in the agreement.
While the return is heavily symbolic, world leaders have said they expect the US to prove its seriousness upon the nation’s return to the fold.
They are especially anticipating an announcement from the US in coming months on its goal for cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases.
Mr Biden has promised to chart a path toward net-zero US emissions by 2050.
“Climate change and science diplomacy can never again be ‘add-ons’ in our foreign policy discussions,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“It is vital in our discussions of national security, migration, international health efforts, and in our economic diplomacy and trade talks.”
The Biden administration is crafting new regulations and incentives aimed at speeding the deployment of clean energy and transitioning from fossil fuels.
Those measures will form the backbone of their next emissions reduction goal to be announced before a global climate leaders summit Mr Biden will host on April 22.
The next UN climate conference is in November in Glasgow.
Mr Biden also has also signed more than a dozen executive orders related to climate change, and has mobilized every federal agency to help shape the government’s response.
Despite the excitement over the US return to global negotiations, climate negotiators say the path forward will not be easy.
Mr Biden’s climate goals face political challenges in the US, opposition from fossil fuel companies and some concern among foreign leaders about US flip-flopping on climate policy.