The newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that will kickstart the process for the country to rejoin the Paris climate accord. The process will take approximately 30 days. The U.S. will be required to send a formal letter to the United Nations requesting to rejoin the Paris Agreement. Former President Donald Trump had withdrawn the country from the accord, a move that has been widely criticized by world leaders.
The executive order signed by President Biden on his first day in office is just one among many environmental-related policies that the U.S. intends to enact. Biden has already signed another executive order to block the Keystone XL pipeline.
Related: Biden expected to cancel Keystone XL project on first day in office
“The ambition that the U.S. is putting forward goes beyond what other countries have added to the mix,” said Ateli Iyalla, managing director of CDP North America, a carbon-tracking nonprofit. “We need to be able to show we have the ambition.”
The president will direct agencies to review all laws and regulatory guidances put in place under former President Trump. In an effort to change the narrative of the past four years, President Biden has appointed Gina McCarthy, a respected former EPA administrator, to oversee a transformational domestic agenda by 2035. Biden has also pledged a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, although critics say 2050 is far later than will be necessary.
Experts suggest that the Biden administration should also be prioritizing fair-trade agreements with other countries that have raw materials needed to power the green energy industry. The existing supply chain for materials like lithium, cobalt and nickel are a major source of pollution and human rights violations overseas.
Additionally, the Biden administration must consider ways to reduce and capture carbon back home.
“The ideal scenario, or at least a better scenario than the one we’re likely to get in the status quo, is that the U.S. returns to the Paris Agreement not simply ready to enforce stringent emissions standards, but really ready to commit serious research dollars in the short term and deployment dollars in the medium and long term to carbon removal,” said Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, a researcher and assistant professor at Georgetown University.
It’s now on the new administration to calculate its moves as it attempts to position the U.S. as a global leader in climate matters.
Via Huffington Post
Image via Shawn Bagley