U.S. Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Agreement

www.scientificamerican.com
4 min read
fairly difficult
The Biden Administration aims to strengthen the country's emissions reduction pledge under the pact by Earth Day
The United States' short sojourn outside the Paris climate agreement is over.

The U.S. formally reenters the international pact today, a move that thrusts the Biden administration into a race to craft new emissions pledges that could help shape global ambitions on climate change.

White House officials are under pressure to identify a 2030 carbon goal within two months, when President Biden will host an international climate summit.

Altogether the U.S. spent 107 days outside the Paris Agreement, after former President Trump completed the three-year withdrawal process one day after the November election.

But while the U.S. is party once again to the first global climate deal, its membership lacks a necessary ingredient—a so-called nationally determined contribution representing the U.S. commitment to the agreement's goals of limiting warming to levels scientists say will avoid the worst climate outcomes.

Biden has set a deadline of April 22 to complete the pledge for 2030 emissions cuts ahead of his Earth Day summit. The event is meant to reintroduce the U.S. as a world leader on climate change and raise global ambition ahead of climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Experts on U.S. climate diplomacy say the administration has been laying the groundwork for its new emissions pledge since the fall. It's expected to draw on research from nonfederal analysts and think tanks that continued work on the issue during the Trump years, when U.S. climate progress carried on in cities, states and boardrooms while it languished in Washington.

Two of the most visible groups that formed in those years—We Are Still In, a coalition of states, cities and businesses, and America's Pledge on Climate Change, which tracked their progress—merged today under a new name: America Is All In.

Members of the newly minted group argued on a call yesterday with reporters that nonfederal progress during the Trump years can serve as a template for federal regulatory and…
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