On his first day in office, President Biden has signed an Executive Order rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Biden-Harris Administration has identified Climate as one of seven “immediate priorities”—the other six priorities being Covid-19, Racial Equality, the Economy, Health Care, Immigration and Restoring America’s Global Standing. As to Climate, the administration has pledged to “take swift action to tackle the climate emergency,” including ensuring that “we meet the demands of science, while empowering American workers and businesses to lead a clean energy revolution.”
Strong, decisive leadership on climate is exactly what we need. The U.S. is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and is the biggest carbon polluter in history. The Biden-Harris Administration has the unenviable challenge of turning this around and putting the U.S. on track to reach its Paris commitments.
COP26 will be hosted in the fall in Glasgow, Scotland. Prior to this, all signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement must submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs), stating their goals to reduce emissions in line with Paris targets. In 2016, President Obama pledged that the U.S. would reduce “its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent below its 2005 level in 2025” and would “make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28%.” The world is now looking to the Biden-Harris Administration to submit a new, detailed NDC that goes beyond this original pledge and at least matches, if not exceeds, that pledged by other developed countries.
NDC submissions can be found here.
(Image acknowledgement: U.S.A. First NDC Submission 2016)