Biden Pledges to Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement
“Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” tweeted President-elect Joe Biden on November 4, 2020. “And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.”
On April 22, 2016—Earth Day—then–President Barack Obama signed the Paris accord, treating it as an executive agreement rather than a treaty requiring Senate approval. Recognizing that unabated man-made climate change would likely become a significant problem for humanity as the century advances, the Paris Agreement aims to limit the increase of global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius above its pre-industrial level. Under the agreement’s provisions, signatories submit their plans, called nationally determined contributions (NDC), to the United Nations. The pledges are voluntary and nonbinding.
Back in 2010, the Obama administration promised to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases to 17 percent below their 2005 levels within a decade. In 2015, the administration submitted its NDC, committing to a cut of 26–28 percent compared to the same baseline by 2025. Over the longer term, the administration pledged to reduce U.S. emiss
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