The U.S. has officially rejoined the Paris Agreement on climate change this Friday after President Biden issued an executive order last month initiating the move.
Former president Donald Trump famously withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Agreement early in his presidency, using his tenure to roll back environmental protections put in place by the Obama administration that aimed to reduce emissions domestically.
The Biden administration made rejoining the agreement, an international accord established in 2015 aimed at limiting global warming “below 2 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels”, a priority and a first step in rehabilitating the U.S.’ image abroad.
“Climate change and science diplomacy can never again be ‘add-ons’ in our foreign policy discussions,” said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a statement. “Addressing the real threats from climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our domestic and foreign policy priorities.”
Under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. committed to a goal of cutting emissions by 26% by 2025. While local governments and businesses continued to work to combat climate change after the Trump administration refused to act on climate, which many experts believe has led to a continued reduction in emissions domestically, they received no assistance from the federal government over the last four years.
The Biden administration is expected to announce a new goal for emissions reductions by 2030 in April during a world leaders’ summit on climate and has “committed the U.S. to reach net-zero emissions across the economy by 2050, long after he has left office,” according to NBC News.