The United States officially returned to the Paris Agreement on Friday when President Joe Biden’s administration pledged to make fighting climate change a high priority.
Almost four years after Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States, this return of the world’s largest economy, the second largest emitter of C02, means that almost all the nations on the planet are today stakeholders of the agreement signed in 2015.
“This is a global existential crisis”
Joe Biden took office on January 20 and immediately decided on this comeback.
“We can no longer go back or do the minimum to respond to climate change,” Joe Biden insisted at the White House on Friday, during his first major foreign policy speech at the Munich Security Conference.
“This is a global existential crisis. And we will all suffer the consequences,” he added.
The head of US diplomacy Antony Blinken also assured in a statement that “climate change and diplomacy through science” could “never again be optional additions” in foreign policy discussions.
“Responding to the real threats of climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our national and foreign priorities. It is (an aspect) vital in our discussions on national security, migration, international health measures and in our diplomacy.” economic and our commercial negotiations ”, also indicated the Secretary of State.
A call to increase ambitions
Praising the Paris accord, negotiated by former President Barack Obama, he further assured that the upcoming climate diplomacy would be crucial.
For his part, former Secretary of State and former White House candidate John Kerry, now an emissary for the United States’ climate, called on the states of the planet to review their climate ambitions upwards at the UN summit in Glasgow (Scotland) to be held in November.
Before that, Joe Biden planned to hold another climate summit on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day. The President of the United States has pledged to reduce pollution levels in the American energy sector to zero ‘by 2035, and for the American economy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
480,000 deaths from natural disasters
His predecessor, Donald Trump, an ally of the fossil fuel industry, believed that the Paris agreement was unfair to the United States. But the ambitions of the agreement are mainly non-binding, and each country develops its own measures. A point on which Barack Obama and John Kerry insisted when signing in 2015, concerned about the political opposition in the United States.
The Paris agreement aims to limit the rise in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial revolution levels and to continue efforts to limit this rise to 1.5 degrees. The current political momentum is in the direction of greater environmental ambition, at a time when the consequences of climate change are increasingly visible.
A recent study states that 480,000 people have already died in this century due to natural disasters linked to extreme weather events.