The US is back in the Paris climate accord, just 107 days after it left

Photo: EPA

While Friday’s return of the US to the Paris climate agreement is heavily symbolic, world leaders say they expect America to prove its seriousness after four years of being pretty much absent, AP reported. They are especially anticipating an announcement from the US in coming months on its goal for cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases by 2030.

The US return to the Paris agreement became official on Friday, almost a month after President Joe Biden told the United Nations that America wants back in. “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.”

Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office reversing the pullout ordered by his predecessor, President Donald Trump. The Trump administration had announced its withdrawal from the Paris accord in 2019 but it didn’t become effective until 4 November 2020, the day after the election, because of provisions in the agreement.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the official American re-entry “is itself very important,” as is Biden’s announcement that the US will return to providing climate aid to poorer nations, as promised in 2009.

United Nations Environment Programme Director Inger Andersen said America has to prove its leadership to the rest of the world, but she said she has no doubt it will when it submits its required emissions cutting targets. The Biden administration promises to announce them before an Earth Day summit in April.

“We hope they will translate into a very meaningful reduction of emissions and they will be an example for other countries to follow,” Guterres said. Already more than 120 nations, including No. 1 emitter China, have promised to have net zero carbon emissions around midcentury.

 

Similar articles