The President-elect is set to unveil a raft of executive orders just hours into his presidency that will promptly steer the Biden administration away from his predecessor Donald Trump’s actions. One of Joe Biden’s priorities upon taking office on the 20th of January is to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement. Ron Klain, the incoming chief of staff, has outlined in a memo to senior staff that Joe Biden will act to bypass Congress in order to waste no time. Mr. Klain said, “President-elect Biden will take action – not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration – but also to start moving our country forward.” One hundred and eighty-nine countries signed the Paris Agreement back in 2015, including the President at the time, Barack Obama. The leaders pledged to keep global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and reduce their carbon emissions to curb the worst impacts of climate change. Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement in June 2017 claiming it was “designed to kill the American economy.” Rather, in 2019, the USA was found to be the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, following China. The USA also suffered from a series of severe wildfires in 2020 with smoke from the fires spreading from the West Coast to the East.
Mr Biden’s bid for presidency included one of the most ambitious and well-rounded plans to tackle climate change out of any mainstream presidential candidate yet. He aims to have the country achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Leading scientists claim that Mr. Biden’s target of reaching net-zero emissions could put pressure on other countries to follow suit. The world stage is able to enter a new era, arguably far better equipped to face the climate crisis with the backing of the USA.
The Paris Agreement’s goals, at long last, seem closer than ever.