Governors applaud US return to climate agreement

The United States officially returned to the Paris Agreement on Friday, just 107 days after abandoning it. Although the gesture was largely symbolic, world leaders are asking Washington to show its seriousness after four years of absence from the events. Above all, they expect it to announce its goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the coming months.

America’s return to the global climate pact comes almost a month after President Joe Biden told the United Nations that the country wanted to return. “The cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that could not be more desperate or clearer.”

On his first day in office, Biden signed a decree to overturn the departure ordered by his predecessor, Donald Trump. The Trump administration had announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in 2019, but it became effective on November 4, 2020, the day after the election, due to the provisions of the pact.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that US re-entry “is very important in itself,” as is Biden’s announcement that the United States will once again provide climate aid to poor countries as promised in 2009.

“It is about the political message that is sent out,” said Christiana Figueres, former head of the UN climate agency, one of the main participants in the elaboration of the 2015 agreement under which countries set their own gas reduction targets. greenhouse.

It was feared that other countries would follow the lead of the United States in abandoning the fight against climate change, but that did not happen, Figueres said. The real problem, he said, was the four years of inaction by the Trump administration. American cities, states, and businesses sought to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but without help from the federal government.