What is the Paris Climate Agreement?
In short, The Paris Agreement is explained by the United Nations as, “a legally binding international treaty on climate change.” The primary goal is to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius in comparison to pre-industrial levels; however, ideally, 1.6 degrees. To do this, efforts would entail reaching a global peak of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. Thus, ensuring long-term reparation and a climate neutral world. As of just recently, the United States has contributed to a list of 174 countries world-wide. With combined contributions, these ideals seem more and more obtainable.
Biden’s Signing of Executive Order to Rejoin Agreement
As of January 20th, the 46th president, Joseph Biden, was inaugurated into office. Just hours after this action, he signed a number of significant executive orders- one being to rejoin the Paris Agreement. Because predecessor United States president, Donald Trump had removed the country from this agreement, Biden took quick action towards a reversal. This is only one of the multitude of actions Biden has taken thus far. The New York Times reports that, “President Biden on Wednesday will direct federal agencies to determine how expansive a ban on new oil and gas leasing on federal land should be, part of a suite of executive orders that will effectively launch his agenda to combat climate change. . . .”
Significance of the Paris Agreement
Although the list of actions Biden has already taken is consistently expanding, The Paris Climate Agreement remains quite a significant one. Due to the combination of 175 countries’ efforts, the future of the environment seems a little more hopeful. In fact, NPR expresses that this agreement is, “the largest international effort to curb global warming.” Since the U.S. is the second largest contributor to global carbon emission [following China], it was vital for Biden to take immediate action. Although, it will take a lot more than rejoining this agreement to gain control of the Climate Crisis- with the consistent imploring from American citizens, assigning of environmental experts to more government positions, and the controlling of emission outputs- this goal is more and more visible on the horizon.
Berwyn, Bob. “The US Rejoins the Paris Agreement, but Rebuilding Credibility on Climate Action Will Take Time.” Inside Climate News, 21 Jan. 2021, insideclimatenews.org/news/21012021/biden-paris-climate-agreement/.
Friedman, Lisa. “Biden Sets in Motion Plan to Ban New Oil and Gas Leases on Federal Land.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Jan. 2021, http://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/25/climate/biden-climate-change.html.
Rott, Nathan. “Biden Moves To Have U.S. Rejoin Climate Accord.” NPR, NPR, 20 Jan. 2021, http://www.npr.org/sections/inauguration-day-live-updates/2021/01/20/958923821/biden-moves-to-have-u-s-rejoin-climate-accord.