United States President, Joe Biden, signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord on the first day of his assuming office on January 21, 2021. The decision was an earlier commitment made by him during his presidential campaign.
In 2017, President Donald Trump had cited the unfair economic burden on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers by the country’s pledge to the agreement as a reason for withdrawing from the agreement.
“The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens’ access to affordable energy,” Trump had said in June 2017.
“U.S. emissions of criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment declined by 74% between 1970 and 2018. U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005-2017, even as our economy grew over 19 percent,” he had added.
On Thursday, The White House issued a statement signed by President Biden, which read, “Having seen and considered the Paris Agreement, done at Paris on December 12, 2015, do hereby accept the said Agreement and every article and clause thereof on behalf of the United States of America.”
In his inauguration speech, President Biden made it clear that addressing “a climate in crisis” was a priority, noting that “a cry for survival comes from the planet itself.”
“I warmly welcome President Biden’s steps to re-enter the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and join the growing coalition of governments, cities, states, businesses, and people taking ambitious action to confront the climate crisis,” the UN chief said in a statement.
A new instrument of acceptance of the Paris Agreement by the US, expressing its consent to be bound by the Agreement, was deposited with the Secretary-General later in the day. According to the UN chief’s spokesperson, the Paris Agreement will enter into force for the United States on 19 February 2021, per its article 21 (3).
India had already ratified the agreement and became the 62nd country to do so.
The Paris Agreement is a climate change plan agreed upon by the United Nations at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. To go into effect, the agreement required 55 countries to ratify, accounting for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreement has 191 signatories and 62 party states. The agreement provides for an easy flow of finance and technology.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.