WASHINGTON (January 19, 2021) — One of the first actions that President Biden has taken is initiating the United States’ re-entry to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The formal process to re-join the agreement takes 30 days. Under the Paris Agreement, countries are expected to submit a new or updated national climate target (NDC) ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, UK in November 2021. So far, 71 countries, representing 28% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have submitted a new or updated NDC.

Following is a statement from Helen Mountford, Vice President, Climate and Economics, World Resources Institute:

“In rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden has immediately signaled that it’s a new day for US engagement on climate change. To regain trust and credibility, this action must be followed by an ambitious US climate target for 2030 and significantly scaled up climate finance for vulnerable countries. That includes delivering on America’s outstanding pledge to the Green Climate Fund. Together these actions will show that the new administration is serious about building a more resilient, fairer American economy. 

“After a significant stress test, the Paris Agreement stands strong. While nearly all nations joined the Paris Agreement, the US was the only one that pulled out and is now re-entering under the Biden Administration. Over the last four years, many leaders globally have increasingly recognized that tackling the climate crisis is both urgent and an opportunity. Investing in zero-carbon solutions will drive innovation and create more jobs than investments in the old, polluting economy of the past. Done right, these investments can also address underlying injustices. Today more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions are covered by pledges to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century. While hugely encouraging, countries need to show determination to get there. 

“There is no time to wait with COP26 just months away. Now is the time for national leaders to ground their mid-century commitments in ambitious 2030 climate targets. This, along with well-designed stimulus packages, can help drive green and fair recoveries from the COVID pandemic. With the new US administration rejoining world leaders on climate action, the world should embrace a new era of solidarity and ambition in addressing the climate crisis.”

Additional Resources:

STATEMENT: Biden-Harris Administration to Begin at Moment of Great Peril and Promise BLOG: How Biden Can Make the US a Global Leader on Climate Action
BLOG: 7 Ways the Biden Administration Can Reverse Climate Rollbacks
COMMENTARY: Top Ten Priorities for President Biden to Tackle the Climate Crisis