Climate Change

The U.S. Rejoins The Paris Climate Accord

Written by SK Ashby

It's now official, the Biden administration has ended one of Trump's biggest embarrassments.

The United States -- the only country on earth to withdraw from the Paris climate accord -- has now rejoined the accord.

Since nearly 200 countries signed the 2015 pact to prevent catastrophic climate change, the United States was the only country to exit. Former President Donald Trump took the step, claiming climate action would cost too much.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry will take part in virtual events on Friday to mark the U.S. re-entry, including appearances with the ambassadors to the UK and Italy, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and U.N. climate ambition envoy Michael Bloomberg.

Biden has promised to chart a path toward net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050. Scientists have said that goal is in line with what is needed, while also stressing that global emissions need to drop by half by 2030 to prevent the most devastating impacts of global warming.

To some extent, a significant amount of climate change has already been locked in while we've dithered, but it's better late than never. We have to do something to prevent the worst possible outcomes from happening.

Republicans in Congress are obviously going to obstruct the administration's future legislative plans for fighting climate change, but Biden's whole government approach to tackling the issue will make it difficult for conservatives and climate change deniers to stop it.

Republicans also can't stop private industries from taking their own actions. They can't stop automakers from converting all of their cars into electrics and they can't stop global asset managers from divesting from fossil fuels. The wheels are already turning without them.

Climate change-fueled disasters, like this past week's deadly winter storm in Texas, will continue to happened regardless of what we do next. But it could be worse if we do nothing.