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The United States Officially Rejoins the Paris Agreement

On his first day in office, President Biden signed a flurry of executive orders, with many aimed at overturning environment rollbacks. One was to immediately begin the means to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which is a 30-day process.

As of February 19th, 2021, the United States has officially rejoined the agreement.

This marks the end of the United States absence from the landmark accord that has nearly 200 members. And it goes to further strengthen the commitment to the environment from the current administration.

What Is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement consists of nearly 200 members that all want to combat climate change by preventing the global temperature from rising by 2°C.

The members that sign this agreement pledge to reduce emissions and lessen their impact on the environment.

However, it is worth pointing out that the agreement is not legally binding. Thus, individual members are not held accountable when goals are not met.

All of the plans that countries commit to are created by themselves. Thus, the Paris Agreement does not force any of its members into specific plans or goals. Thus, there are no negative aspects to being a member.

The United States History As A Member of the Paris Agreement

The United States signed the agreement on April 1st, 2016, which was the first day available. At the time, the Obama administration presented a plan that would cut emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 alongside this signature.

However, when the Trump administration took office, they immediately scrapped the pledge and vowed to leave the agreement. Yet, there was one problem.

While any member can leave the Paris Agreement, they can only do so after being a member for three years.

Thus, the United States did not formally leave the agreement until November 4th, 2019. And now, under the Biden administration, the United States has formally rejoined the agreement as of February 19, 2021.

Does The United States Have A New Climate Plan?

Not officially.

President Biden has referenced his climate plan throughout the campaign trail. However, he has not provided a plan since he has become president.

Instead, he plans to formally lay out his climate plan for the country on the most appropriate day of the year, Earth Day.

It is expected that the president will outline the country’s emission goals for 2030, which is known as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This is a requirement of all nations under the agreement that requires an outline of their strategies to address climate issues.

He has also repeatedly mentioned that the US can go net-zero in emissions by 2050, so there may be some mention of this at the event.

The Work Is Already Underway

Construction

The Biden administration has made it clear that climate change is important to them. They have wasted no time in overturning environmental rollbacks and even shut down the construction of the Keystone Pipeline on the first day in office.

The rejoining of the Paris Agreement is another significant step in that goal.

Going green will be a big part of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. It has the potential to add millions of jobs, cut emissions, and reduce air pollution in the country.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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