U.S. returns to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change
US President Joe Biden declared the return of America to the international Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, the heart of a series of day-one executive orders aimed at restoring US leadership in the battle against global warming.
The announcements also included a sweeping order to review all of the decisions of former President Donald Trump to undermine climate change security, the revocation of a critical permit from Canada for TC Energy's Keystone XL oil pipeline project, and a ban on oil and gas leasing activities recently opened for construction in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by Trump's administration.
The newly sworn-in president's orders will mark the beginning of a significant policy reversal in China's second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, after the Trump administration pilloried climate science and overturned environmental regulations to maximize the development of fossil fuels.
In order to match the steep and rapid global cuts that scientists claim are necessary to avoid the most damaging impacts of global warming, the use of curbs on fossil fuels and major investments in renewable energy, Biden has vowed to place the United States on a road to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Biden's orders also require government agencies to consider revising requirements for vehicle fuel efficiency and curbs on methane emissions, and to research the possibility of re-expanding the limits of national wilderness monuments that the Trump administration had reduced in size.
Although the directives thrilled environmental advocates, they were opposed by business groups and conservatives.
Washington's return to cooperation on climate change has been welcomed by global counterparts and climate activists, but has expressed some doubt about its staying power and ability to resolve domestic political instability.
Late last year, Trump removed the United States from the 2015 Paris agreement, saying it was too costly for the US economy.
Maritime Business World