World welcomes US return to Paris climate accord, readies wish-list for Joe Biden

Jan 21 2021 12:18 PM
World welcomes US return to Paris climate accord, readies wish-list for Joe Biden

Climate-change leaders and campaigners worldwide welcomed US President Joe Biden's move to rejoin the 2015 Paris Agreement but said Washington must also cut emissions and use its influence to encourage other countries to do the same.

In one of his first acts as president, Biden issued an executive order on Wednesday to bring the US, the world's second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, back into the global treaty committing nearly 200 countries to halt rising temperatures quickly enough to avoid disastrous climate change.

last year , Washington formally left the Paris accord but its role as a heavyweight in global climate negotiations had already stalled with the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.

Trump cast doubt on climate science and asserted that the accord was an economic burden. UN climate negotiations have closed since then, with multiple summits failing to deliver ambitious action.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they get a standing ovation just by entering the room," former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said, referring to the US return to global climate talks. "That doesn't mean that they will have a standing ovation forever. They have to prove that they are really determined to make the changes that are necessary."

Climate diplomats said they want to see an ambitious US commitment to reduce emissions this decade and a diplomatic push to convince others to follow suit. Top of the list would be China, the world's biggest polluter, which plans to become carbon neutral by 2060 but has yet to unveil a short-term plan to reduce emissions.


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