After the frenzied election that took place in 2020, many were hoping for a calmer scene in 2021. As the new president, Biden is looking to accomplish a lot. Recently, Biden re-entered the United States in the Paris Agreement, which was withdrawn from by the Trump administration in 2017. Bident noted climate change is one of his top priorities to better through his policies and actions. How will this affect the U.S., and what actions are being taken to uphold this agreement?
To begin, the Paris Agreement is a treaty with a goal to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and limiting global warming to 2 ℃. Its overall objective is to mitigate the pushing factors behind global warming and climate change through a legally binding agreement. The efficiency of this agreement lies in the fact that countries are working together and supporting each other, instead of trying to reform their country alone. Without the Paris Agreement, it is estimated that by 2100, global temperatures could increase by 3.6 ℃. This may seem insignificant and negligible, but in reality, it could have disastrous effects on the world. Currently, at an increase of 1.1 ℃, we are already experiencing huge side effects. Presently, we may reach a global increase in temperature of 1.5 ℃ by 2040 unless we take immediate action.
In 2016, Obama entered the Paris Agreement with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025. However, Trump and his administration decided to withdraw from the treaty, leaving the United States to be one of the three countries that were not part of the Paris Agreement. His justification was that too many Americans were losing jobs and that the treaty resulted in too small of a reduction in temperature to matter. Although much of Trump’s claims were debunked, his administration still went through with their withdrawal. In spite of the actions of the Trump administration, the United States is still able to re-enter the agreement if they wish to, and that is exactly what Biden did. Withdrawing from the agreement tarnished the reputation of the United States as a climate leader and additionally, Trump’s actions set the U.S. even further back from reaching its goals. This means that the Biden administration will have to work a lot harder and set more ambitious goals in order to make up for the lost time and to rebuild their reliability. In addition, Biden is committed to reaching an overall sum of zero emissions by 2050.
In an effort to support the agreement, Biden has rescinded all of Trump’s actions that compromised the regulation of greenhouse gases. He passed an executive order that declared climate change to be the primary concern within the federal government. He also withdrew the permit for the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline and ordered a decreased production of fossil fuels while switching from non-renewable energy sources to renewable energy sources. Furthermore, the Department of Education will support programs surrounding climate change and will aim to design greener schools. The Department of Justice will uphold all of Biden’s policies and ensure that corporations that pollute and infringe and those policies will be penalized. Finally, the Department of Transportation will put more funding into public transportation and construct more charging stations for electric cars. With all of this reforming, it seems like the United States will be headed to a greener, more eco-friendly future.
Biden is reshaping the United States into a more environmentally-aware country one step at a time. By re-entering the Paris Agreement and updating policies, he ensures that the goals will be met. All in all, it marks a turning point for both the United States and the world as a whole.