Joe Biden has signed as executive order to reinstate the US to the Paris climate change agreement just hours after being sworn in as President.
Signed in the White House on Wednesday, the executive action will see the US rejoin the international effort to curb global warming, a process that will take 30 days.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change and was adopted by 196 parties at COP21 in Paris in December 2015 and entered into force on 4th November 2016.
Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels, with countries aiming to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.
Today, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. pic.twitter.com/V4fVV2i2jZ
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2021
Mr Biden tweeted: “After taking the oath of office this afternoon, I got right to work taking action to: Control the pandemic, provide economic relief, tackle climate change, advance racial equity.”
He later added: “We’re back in the Paris Climate Agreement.”
We're back in the Paris Climate Agreement.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 21, 2021
The president also signed an executive order to halt the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which is planned to carry around 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
They are two of nine actions that directly reverse former President Donald Trump’s policies and in addition, Mr Biden has directed agencies to review and reverse more than 100 environmental regulations that were weakened or rolled back by Trump’s administration.