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Biden Puts US on Path to Rejoining Paris Climate Deal

Public Policy

President Joe Biden signed sweeping actions to combat climate change just hours after taking the oath of office, moving to rejoin the Paris accord and imposing a moratorium on oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Environmentalists said Biden’s actions — some of which could take years to be implemented — renew the U.S. commitment to safeguarding the environment and signal to the world that America has returned to the global fight against climate change.

The moves mark a dramatic rebuke of President Donald Trump’s pro-industry approach to energy and the environment.

On Paris alone, Biden is directly reversing Trump’s decision to yank the U.S. from the accord. Trump labeled the pact “a total disaster” that would harm American competitiveness by enabling “a giant transfer of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the world’s pollution.”

Biden notified the United Nations the U.S. is rejoining the Paris climate agreement before day’s end, with the re-entry set to take effect 30 days later.

“While we are grateful for this action, we also know this is only the start. We need our country to be fully powered by clean energy, and we must do it quickly and thoroughly,” said Andrea McGimsey, senior director for Environment America’s Global Warming Solutions campaign. “The days of dirty, fossil fuel-burning, 19th Century technology must be numbered in order to reach a cleaner tomorrow.”

Some of the moves drew opposition from industry and even one key Democrat. Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia in line to chair the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, called for changes to the Paris accord.

“I agree that President Biden must renew America’s leadership on climate change through innovation,” Manchin said in a statement. “I also uphold my view that the Paris agreement must be improved to set all nations on the same stage and hold each to the same standards of accountability.”

In an executive order Wednesday, Biden directed agencies to review and address Trump-era policies “that were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment, unsupported by the best available science or otherwise not in the national interest,” according to a transition fact sheet.

The review covers a breathtaking array of policies for possible repeal or revision, from automobile standards and appliance efficiency requirements eased under Trump to narrowed boundaries of national monuments in the western U.S.

Biden will also direct federal agencies to reconsider other Trump-era policies, including measures governing seismic oil surveys in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing roads to be built through Alaska’s Tongass National Forest and dialing back efficiency standards for appliances. Another target: a Trump rule narrowing the scope of government agency reviews of how their decisions affect the environment.

Other actions the Biden transition announced:

  • Directing the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department to consider revising automobile fuel-economy and tailpipe emissions standards that were relaxed under Trump.
  • Ordering the Interior Department to review monument boundaries shrunk during the Trump administration, including Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, which was pared to about 220,000 acres from its original 1.4-million-acre footprint.
  • Halting the cross-border Keystone XL oil pipeline by revoking the permit Trump awarded.

Like other Democrats on the campaign trail, Biden made no secret of his plans to restore the U.S. as a member of the 2015 accord and recommit the country to slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Still, environmentalists said his Day One move is essential to helping encourage greater global action to arrest the climate threat.

Under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. was a driving force behind the formation of the landmark Paris agreement. Now, the Biden administration can play a critical role setting more aggressive U.S. emissions-reductions targets and encouraging other countries to follow suit.

“Internationally there will be a expectation that the U.S. brings forward a new, ambitious target under the Paris agreement,” said David Waskow, director of the World Resources Institute’s international climate initiative. “Internationally, it’s an important way of making clear the U.S. is going to take care of business at home.”

Under the Paris agreement, some 195 member countries set their own voluntary emissions-reduction targets, with the goal of keeping global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels. Under Obama, the U.S. had pledged to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

The World Resources Institute and other environmental groups have advocated a U.S. commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 50% over the next decade. Achieving that would require a broad mix of domestic climate action, including more zero-emissions vehicles and rapid shifts in how the U.S. generates its electricity, with roughly 38% currently provided by natural gas.

Some activists are pushing even more rapid reductions before 2030. The U.S. Climate Action Network has advocated the U.S. cut its “fair share” of emissions by paring them 70% below 2005 levels by 2030 while helping developing countries stifle greenhouse gases too. The U.S. has an obligation to make reductions in line with its “historical responsibility for fueling the climate crisis,” said U.S. Climate Campaign Director Sriram Madhusoodanan.

Rejoining the Paris agreement “must be followed by bold and aggressive commitments and actions to both drastically cut U.S. emissions and help finance a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels in parts of the world least responsible for the climate crisis,” Madhusoodanan said.

Those other efforts will take more time — and be more challenging. While Biden could put the U.S. back in the Paris agreement with the stroke of a pen, other actions will require help from Congress or lengthy rule-rewriting by his federal agencies.

The U.S. has some work to do rebuilding trust, WRI’s Waskow said.

“The U.S. has to come back the international stage with some humility,” Waskow said. The U.S. needs to “understand that its been out of the mix for the past four years and throwing obstacles in the path of progress.”


19 Comments on "Biden Puts US on Path to Rejoining Paris Climate Deal"

  1. Duncan Idaho on Thu, 21st Jan 2021 9:03 pm 

    At 9:21 this evening, you can celebrate the 21st minute of the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century.

  2. supertards im on permanent retirement i go here now and then please change ur undies after 5 days to stop spread of convict-19 on Thu, 21st Jan 2021 10:51 pm 

    convid-19 is devastid and people are now flocking to south dakota
    after turgid the rate of death for whitey supertards is 2^N where N takes 400 years to type all digits. at this rate whitey supertards will go exinct soon.

    if they flock to south dakota for turgid #2
    N will takes 1000 years to type.

    please love supremacist muzzies more

    please mandate teaching of scientism in skools

  3. Theedrich on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 12:32 am 

    A shoplifting Walmart greeter is now prez. Whoopee! The store owners know it, but view it as a cost of doing business because of all the dupes he suckers in.  It will work until his Alzheimer’s syndrome makes it possible to use the 25th Amendment to send him to the looney bin and replace him with mulatto Mistress Giggly.

    The former president, D. J. Trump, did a lot of good by retiring bureaucratic impediments, eliminating foreign entanglements and trying to end forever wars.  Unfortunately, he had a death wish and gave his Marxist oligarch enemies in the media, academic, entertainment and cyber biz the rope with which to hang him.  He had deluded himself into fancying them at bottom patriots.  Clearly he had never read Nicolo Machiavelli, the premier analyst of power politics.  In his impermeable egotism he naïvely surrounded himself with Brutus types who made sure the corrupt media and Democrat sadists had everything they needed to destroy him.

    So now we are reverting to the parasitism of governments within the government.  Under the rubric of “science” we will be fed every perversion of science useful to the potentates.  Behind the pretense of empathy and compassion we will be drowned in ThirdWorld masses whose only use is electing Marxist sludge in “democratic” elections and polluting the racial uniformity which once characterized America.

    But the feelgood dymanics programmed into the republic at the beginning was a setup for failure.  As the economy, then the military ability and general culture of the U.S. decline vis-à-vis the rest of the world, we are going to plummet into the abyss.

    Just as Tainter predicted.

  4. Biden's hairplug on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 1:22 am 

    Neither Sleepy Joe, nor Kammy, will matter in the grand scheme of things. The real ruler of the WH is (((Ron Klain))), who will produce the policy papers, straight from the Sanhedrin Deep State, so the bell boy (m/f) behind the Oval Office desk can sign them, like the 17 documents Sleepy Joe signed yesterday:

    This is the real news, they’re back…

    …after their reduced presence under Trump, one of the truly greatest presidents the US ever had, even if you can criticize him for a lot of buffoonish things. But a lone warrior he was and perhaps still will be, for instance as the leader or Godfather of a Patriot Party, that could destroy the US 2-party system status quo of 150+ years. Unlike that other closet white resistance leader, JFK, Trump is miraculously still alive.

    Now the lefties will not stop until they have destroyed Trump. Here is a hit piece by an editor of the NYT, a David Enrich (can’t think of a more jewish name, stopping short of Goldman, Silverstein, Pearle, Diamond or Rubin as they are all about money and power):

    “Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction”

    Enrich has an obsession with Auschwitz, jewish golden teeth and Deutsche Bank, the bank Enrich suggests is behind the presidency of Enemy Trump. J-dar pulsating.

    Have spent half an hour trying to prove or disprove that Enrich is jewish, but failed.

    It doesn’t matter, he gets the J-stamp of approval from the likes of the NYT, Bloomberg, WSJ.

    The left and their satanic leaders won’t stop until they have… (Yer. Ḳid. 66c; Massek. Soferim xv. 10, etc), “The best among the Gentiles killed.”

    They did it to the Czar family, to the German leadership in Nuremberg, they will do it to Trump, they would love to do it to Putin.

    It is time for the world to get tough with them. America is a wounded animal and the successors can’t wait to take over.

  5. Dredd on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 9:57 am 

    Back to the world according to measurements …

  6. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 10:43 am 

    “Well I’m the official laughing stock of my family,” one QAnon follower said after Joe Biden was sworn in

    If you are a idiot, you stay an idiot?

  7. Cloggie on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 12:53 pm 

    “Biden plans to fight climate change in a way no U.S. president has done before”

    That’s not setting the bar very

  8. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 3:31 pm 

    Scots demand ‘urgent investigation’ to keep Trump’s ‘toxic brand’ out of Scotland

    Is it the smell, or having to deal with low class scum?

  9. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 5:41 pm 

    “. . . the truth is that a stupidity, even after having passed through a million mouths, does not become less foolish.”

    -J. A. Schmit

  10. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 22nd Jan 2021 8:21 pm 

    “He doesn’t say this, but I will: they are also dumb as posts. Cawthorne has the kind of feral street smarts that made Trump a successful huckster and Taylor-Green is aggressively nasty. But really, they are all pretty stupid, certainly uneducated. Just like their Dear Leader.

    They are little fascist storm troopers, nothing more.”

  11. Cloggie on Sat, 23rd Jan 2021 3:07 am 

    Germany kicks off the hydrogen grid, to be in place by 2030:

  12. Cloggie on Sat, 23rd Jan 2021 3:22 am 

    Is Merkel really a US vassal?

    “Merkel hofft auf Pipeline-Verhandlungen mit US-Präsident Biden”

    (Merkel hopes for pipe-line negotiations with Biden)

    Merkel may not be interested in an all-out trans-Atlantic trade war (much unlike my nothingness), she still wants to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, despite (hypocritical, self-serving) US objections. Merkel wants to rub in that the US is involved itself in oil-trade with Russia.

    Merkel wants to develop a new understanding between Berlin and Washington about the extent, economic deals can be made with Russia. But the pipeline will be completed, one way or the other. Russian gas is far more economical than US fracking gas and Merkel has an obligation to ensure that Germany will be supplied with sufficient, relatively cheap and clean fossil fuel, until the energy transition has been completed.

  13. Cloggie on Sat, 23rd Jan 2021 3:37 am 

    Microsoft to support the assassination of the global car industry with 2 billion:

    “Microsoft Invests $2 Billion In Cruise In Bid To Lead Autonomous Driving Revolution”

    Solar-PV prices came down from $76 per watt in 1977 to $0.20 per watt in 2020, and it is only getting started:

    “After 4 Decades of Solar Photovoltaic Research, NREL Is Just Getting Started”

    China racing ahead towards geopolitical planetary pole position:

    China added 72 GW of wind power in 2020, doubling the previous 2019 record.

    In 2019, just 2.4 GW new nuclear power came online… and 98 GW (peak) solar power (make that 10 GW average).

    According to the latest data, offshore wind for 10 MW turbines or higher, exceeds capacity factors of 60% (North Sea). For NW-Europe, wind is the real deal.

  14. makati1 on Sat, 23rd Jan 2021 3:49 pm 

    Deep Resource, a clubhouse for techie dreamers.

    And awfully short article full of ‘shoulds, but no positive words. 2030 is a loooonnnng way off and it will never happen Cloggie, but enjoy the high it gives you to think so.

    BTW: Europe needs cheap Russian gas, not the US high priced shit. She knows what is good for Germany and the EU.

  15. Biden’s hairplug on Sat, 23rd Jan 2021 4:17 pm 

    The UK could fall apart in a couple of months:

    “SNP vows to UNILATERALLY hold a second Scottish independence referendum if Sturgeon wins May election – and challenges Boris to take legal action to stop it“

  16. Cloggie on Sun, 24th Jan 2021 3:01 am 

    More signs that intensive horticulture is going to replace traditional “open air” field-agriculture:

    “Dutch billionaires family invests in greenhouses.”

    Even in traditional water-rich Netherlands, the effects of increasing drought (“droogte”) are visible in agriculture:

    Something needs to be done, world-wide.

    In greenhouses, you have no drought problem. The only water that leaves the greenhouse is “embedded” in the product, but no evaporation; you can even use distilled seawater for your operation. Heat can be harvested geothermally. With led-lights, production can continue all-year around. It is easier to keep disease and predators out. All it takes is a glass roof above your field and glass is made of sand and is very durable, decades or longer.

    You can have greenhouses in the desert and be VERY productive:

    “Growing Crops in the Australian Desert with Seawater”

    You can run a greenhouse in very cold climates:

    “Greenhouse Technology in Kazakhstan”

    Greenhouses enable agricultural production very near consumers, saving on transport and storage cost/energy.

  17. Cloggie on Sun, 24th Jan 2021 6:40 am 

    “Don’t hammer but screw!”

    So, now that I have your attention, here is a new method of installing offshore wind foundations:

    “Heerema – “Don’t Hammer but Screw and Push!””

  18. DT on Sun, 24th Jan 2021 6:56 am 

    “Don’t hammer but screw!” Nice examples of FF fed machinery at work.

  19. Biden's hairplug on Tue, 26th Jan 2021 12:37 pm 

    China and the US keeping each other busy over Taiwan and the South China Sea:

    “China’s chilling message to Biden: Beijing flies 15 fighter jets into Taiwan airspace for second time in two days after US dispatches aircraft carrier to disputed South China Sea”

    Makati should seriously reconsider his options, because he could become anything but the gloating beer & popcorn guy, while watching the empire going under.

    European-American liberation could come from a sunken US carrier in the SCS and subsequent US-Chinese mobilization.

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