Posted by 19 February 2021
Today the U.S. formally re-entered the Paris Climate Agreement.
The day he took office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the accord. However, the process to do this takes 30 days to complete, so today is the first official day the U.S. is once again a member.
The Paris Agreement has been controversial from its beginning. Signatories have pledged to take steps to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius based on pre-industrial levels. President Obama signed the accord but never submitted it to the Senate for ratification. Under the Constitution, any treaties must be approved by the Senate. President Obama argued that this was an agreement, not a treaty, so it did not require a Senate vote. President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement and now President Biden has re-joined it.
Critics argue that this agreement will hurt the U.S. economy by restricting the use of affordable fossil fuels. They contend that it will put the U.S. at a disadvantage. They also note that since it was not ratified by the Senate, it cannot be enforced. President Biden, however, argues that it's vital to cooperate internationally to combat climate change. He says that if the U.S. does not act it will lead to devastation for future generations.
Do you think the U.S. should be part of the Paris Climate Agreement?