Secretary-General welcomes US return to Paris Agreement on Climate Change
Following the inauguration of United States President Joe Biden on Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General said he looks forward to an era of new leadership towards accelerating climate action, with the US back inside the landmark Paris Agreement.
President Biden signed an executive order at the White House just hours after being sworn in, to reverse the previous administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 accord, which seeks to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“I warmly welcome President Biden’s steps to re-enter the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and join the growing coalition of governments, cities, states, businesses and people taking ambitious action to confront the climate crisis”, the UN chief said in a statement.
The US was among 194 countries that signed the Agreement in December 2015 under then President, Barack Obama.
His successor, Donald Trump, announced three years later that the country would withdraw from the treaty, a decision which became effective last November.
Long road to carbon neutrality
The Paris Agreement requires governments to commit to increasingly ambitious climate action through plans known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
The Secretary-General recalled that countries producing half of all global carbon pollution committed to carbon neutrality, or net-zero emissions, following a summit held last month.
“Today’s commitment by President Biden brings that figure to two-thirds. But there is a very long way to go”, he said.
“The climate crisis continues to worsen, and time is running out to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and build more climate-resilient societies that help to protect the most vulnerable.”
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