Biden rejoins Paris Agreement & signs 15 executive orders hours into office

Biden’s day one moves to ‘reverse Trump’s damage’ include putting the U.S. back in the Paris agreement

“There’s no time to start like today” - President Biden puts America back in the Paris Agreement hours after taking office

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Hours after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States yesterday, President Biden put America back in the Paris agreement.

An extract from yesterday’s White House briefing reflects one of the first actions taken by President Biden.

“I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, 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,” he said.

It will take 30 days for the U.S. to officially rejoin the international treaty, but it shows that the president is making climate change a top priority of his administration.

As one user on Twitter put it, “The global sigh of relief – to have an adult back in the White House – was almost audible.”

Biden signed 15 executive orders hours after being sworn in

Shortly after taking office, President Biden began reversing Trump’s policies. Within hours, he had signed 15 executive orders and two agency actions. Alongside recommitting the U.S. to the Paris agreement, the president canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and ordered federal agencies to recommence work on  environmental regulations that were canceled under the Trump administration.

And Democracy is back with the stroke of a pen

Biden also signed an executive order to boost the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic and reversed America’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization. With the stroke of a pen, he also ended the Muslim travel ban, effectively reuniting thousands of families.

As the president said yesterday, “Democracy has prevailed.”

Will America reach the goal of 100% clean energy by 2050?

Wednesday was only day one of the new administration, and Biden is jumpstarting his agenda. Rejoining the agreement was one of the president’s earliest campaign promises. Biden made some ambitious pledges to tackle climate change on his campaign trail, including eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by 2035 and pledging a 100% clean energy economy by 2050.

 

Biden will need Congress to approve a $2 trillion budget

Part of Biden’s Clean Energy Plan includes investment in charging stations for electric vehicles and energy-efficient homes. The President has previously claimed that “millions of jobs” will be created by making America’s infrastructure green. The ambitious environmental goals carry a high price tag however — $2 trillion — and the President will need to pass this budget through a still divided Congress.

There is no Planet B

The historic 2015 Paris Agreement saw nearly every country on earth vow to keep global warming “well below” 2°C.

Climate change is happening at an unprecedented pace, and the planet is already 1.2 degrees warmer. Global carbon dioxide emissions need to drop over 7 percent a year until 2030.

Biden is reversing a dangerous precedent

The U.S. is the world’s second-largest polluter, after China. Pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement under Donald Trump marked a terrifying moment for the future of the planet, according to climate activists.

Seeing one of the most powerful countries and strongest economies renege on its commitment set a dangerous precedent. While the U.S. was the only country to have left the Paris agreement, critics feared the move took pressure off the other 195 countries to meet their obligations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Plagues, fires, and droughts — climate change is here

By pledging to get America back on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, Biden is lining up with the Paris agreement targets. Should the world fail to meet its targets in time, there will be devastating consequences — including the loss of the world’s coral reefs and exposing the global population to deadly forest fires, droughts, and tropical storms.

The “freak” weather of the last few years — Australia’s Black Summer, fires devastating the Amazon rainforest, and the five tropical storms lashing the Atlantic last September — could soon become the new normal. The glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica are melting faster than the worst predictions and humanity has wiped out half of the Earth’s wildlife in just 50 years.

Biden plans to ‘Build Back Better’ — and Greener

From the planet’s perspective, Biden could not have come into the White House soon enough. His administration will face an uphill struggle to pass their ambitious environmental plans through Congress, balance domestic policy with international climate accords, and get the budget they need to do the work. The president appears to be working on rebuilding global trust in the United States’ ability to deliver on their promises.

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