The United States officially returned to the Paris climate agreement on Friday, with President Joe Biden’s administration pledging to make the environmental battle a top priority.
Exactly a month after Biden took office and immediately moved to join him, the world’s largest economy and second-largest carbon emitter were officially back in the 2015 deal to deal with the dangerous rise. temperatures of the planet.
The return of the United States means that the Paris agreement again includes virtually all countries after Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump made the United States the only outlier.
“Climate change and science diplomacy can never again be ‘additions’ to our foreign policy discussions,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement welcoming the return of the United States.
“Addressing the real threats of climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our domestic and foreign policy priorities. It is vital in our discussions on national security, international health efforts on migration and in our economic diplomacy and our trade negotiations. “
While praising the Paris deal, negotiated by former President Barack Obama, Blinken said future climate diplomacy will be crucial.
Biden predicts that a climate summit on April 22 will coincide with Earth Day and John Kerry, former secretary of state and now US climate envoy, called on the world to step up its ambitions during the negotiations on the UN on the climate in Glasgow in November.
Biden has pledged to make America’s electricity sector pollution-free by 2035 and transition to a fully net zero-emission economy by 2050.
Trump, an ally of the fossil fuel industry, had argued that the Paris climate deal was unfair to the United States.
But the goals of the Paris agreement are essentially non-binding, with each country drafting its own measures – a point Obama and Kerry insisted on, aware of the political opposition at home.
The Paris agreement aims to limit the rise in global temperature to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and continue efforts to drop to 1.5 degrees.
Political momentum has grown amid signs that climate change is already wreaking havoc, with a recent study finding that 480,000 people have died so far this century in natural disasters linked to extreme weather conditions.
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