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After 107 Days, US Is Back in Paris Climate Pact

Return became official on Friday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2021 2:50 AM CST

(Newser) – The United States is back in the Paris climate accord, just 107 days after it left. While Friday’s return is heavily symbolic, world leaders say they expect America to prove its seriousness after four years of being pretty much absent. They are especially anticipating an announcement from the US in coming months on its goal for cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases by 2030. The US return to the Paris agreement became official Friday, almost a month after President Joe Biden told the United Nations that America wants back in, the AP reports. "A cry for survival comes from the planet itself," Biden said in his inaugural address. "A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now."

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Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office reversing the pullout ordered by his predecessor, Donald Trump. The Trump administration had announced its withdrawal from the Paris accord in 2019 but it didn't become effective until Nov. 4, 2020, the day after the election, because of provisions in the agreement. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the official American re-entry "is itself very important," as is Biden’s announcement that the US will return to providing climate aid to poorer nations, as promised in 2009. "It's the political message that’s being sent," said Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief. She was one of the leading forces in hammering out the 2015 mostly voluntary agreement where nations set their own goals to reduce greenhouse gases.

(Read more Paris Agreement stories.)

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