By January 21, 2021 Read More →

Biden Administration wastes no time, rejoins Paris climate agreement

The newly inaugurated President Joseph R. Biden Jr. made his priorities clear by recommitting the United States of America to the Paris climate agreement on his first day in office. In addition to recommitting the US to the agreement, Biden also ordered federal agencies to start reviewing and reinstating more than 100 environmental regulations that were weakened or rolled back by former President Donald J. Trump.

The Paris climate agreement, first signed in 2015, is an agreement amongst 195 nations to take steps to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. The goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. The previous US administration announced in 2017 that the US would de-commit from the agreement, sighting “unfairness” and calling the widely celebrated agreement “draconian.”

President Biden signs an executive order on the Paris climate agreement on Wednesday

President Biden has elevated tackling the climate crisis among his highest priorities. Biden has set an ambitious target for the United States, the largest contributor to global warming in history, to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector by 2035 and from the entire economy by 2050. Although ambitious in his plans, numerous scientific reports have concluded that the first, irreversible effects of climate change have already started to sweep across the globe, including rising sea levels, record wildfires, and more devastating storms.

While encouraged by the first steps, analysts have cautioned that Biden’s actions must be quickly followed by a series of aggressive domestic climate policies to drastically lower the country’s emissions of planet-warming pollution. What is clear now is that the new administration will need to continue to push for tougher regulations in order to meet their lofty goals.