World Leaders Laud US Return to Climate Fight Under Biden
BERLIN (AP) — World leaders breathed an audible sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron were among those welcoming Biden’s decision to rejoin the the Paris climate accord, reversing a key Trump policy in the first hours of his presidency Wednesday.
“Rejoining the Paris Agreement is hugely positive news,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. Britain, which is hosting this year’s U.N. climate summit, looked forward to working with the Biden administration on the issue, he said.
Macron likewise tweeted his joy at the U.S. rejoining the Paris pact, saying that with Biden, “we will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet.”
The accord, forged in the French capital in 2015, commits countries to put forward plans for reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which is released from burning fossil fuels.
Former President Donald Trump had questioned the scientific warnings about man-made global warming, at times accusing other countries of using the Paris accord as a club to hurt the United States.
By contrast, Biden put the fight against climate change at the center of his presidential campaign and on Wednesday immediately launched a series of climate-friendly efforts to bring Washington back in step with the rest of the world on the issue.
“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.”
Experts say any international efforts to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), ideally 1.5C (2.7F), as agreed in the Paris accord would struggle without the contribution of United States, which is the world’s second biggest carbon emitter.
Scientists say time is running out to reach that goal because the world has already warmed 1.2 C (2.2 F) pre-industrial times.
In The News
Although 2020 was an economically woeful year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a joint report by BloombergNEF and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy indicates renewable energy sources made record contributions to the country’s power grid. The annual report, called the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook,... Read More
A new report from the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental research center based in California, outlines how Congress can effectively tackle climate change while creating millions of jobs in the process. The report aims to prioritize specific climate change policy goals amid a gridlocked Washington, D.C. In... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Biden Administration’s priorities for clean energy, climate, and infrastructure will necessitate some ambitious legislation which may be problematic in the closely divided 117th Congress. One Democratic Senator will undoubtedly be the linchpin playing a decisive role in shaping the administration’s climate policies. Incoming... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee reviewed U.S. progress toward reducing climate change Wednesday to determine whether the nation is ready for President Joe Biden’s executive orders on environmental policy. The witnesses and senators spent much of their time discussing emissions from burning oil and coal as... Read More
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — There will be six more weeks of winter, Punxsutawney Phil predicted as he emerged from his burrow on a snowy Tuesday morning to perform his Groundhog Day duties. Members of Phil's “inner circle” woke up the furry critter at 7:25 a.m. at... Read More
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on public lands, one of a slate of executive actions he is taking to demonstrate his commitment to fighting climate change, despite opposition from the fossil fuel industry. The move effectively... Read More