World leaders and diplomats hailed the decision of new US President Joe Biden to join the 2015 Paris Agreement, with the new administration likely to pursue a more ambitious environmental agenda, including global warming.
In one of his first acts as president, Biden on Wednesday issued an executive order to bring back the United States, the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, in the global treaty committing nearly 200 countries to stop rising temperatures quickly enough to avoid a disastrous climate change.
“A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that cannot be more desperate or clearer now.”
Former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement last year but his role as a heavyweight in global climate negotiations had already stalled with the election of Trump in 2016 – who once described climate change as a “hoax” and claimed the deal was an economic burden.
Since then, the UN climate talks have stammered, with several summits failing to result in ambitious action.
Biden’s move, hailed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, is likely to strengthen political will globally.
“With all countries fully engaged, we have a real opportunity to prevent climate catastrophe and embark on transformative climate action,” Guterres said on Twitter.
With all countries fully engaged, we have a real opportunity to prevent climate catastrophe and embark on #ClimateAction.
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) January 20, 2021
The UN chief also warned of the urgent need to tackle the dangers of climate change. “The climate crisis continues to worsen and time is running out to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] and build more climate-resilient societies that help protect the most vulnerable, ”he said.
“Welcome back to the Paris Agreement,” said French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter. “We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet, ”he added.
AT @Joe Biden and @KamalaHarris.
Best wishes on this very important day for the American people!
We are together.
We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!
– Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 20, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Biden’s move “extremely positive news”, adding on Twitter that he looked forward to “working with our American partners to do whatever we can to protect our planet” as it approaches of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference to be held in November this year.
President @Joe Biden the return of the Paris Agreement is extremely positive news. In the year we welcome @ COP26 in Glasgow, I look forward to working with our American partners to do whatever we can to protect our planet.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 21, 2021
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden also applauded the news.
“We have a common investment in the rules-based international order and I welcome President Biden’s intentions for the United States to join the Paris Agreement and halt its withdrawal from the World Health Organization,” he said. Arden said in a statement.
“President Biden’s message of unity as he takes office is a message that resonates with New Zealanders and, on behalf of New Zealand, I wish him good luck as he begins his presidency,” she added.
German Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze recalled that the United States is responsible for 15% of global carbon emissions, hoping that under the new administration, the United States and the European Union “will once again become a force. driving force behind international climate protection, ”she said. on the social media platform.
the #UNITED STATES are responsible for 15% of global CO2 emissions. This is why I hope to @Joe Biden and @KamalaHarristhat the United States under the new government, together with the EU, will once again become a driving force on the international scene # Climate protection will. # InaugurationDay2021
– Svenja Schulze (@ SvenjaSchulze68) January 20, 2021
Translation: The United States is responsible for 15% of global CO2 emissions. This is why I hope from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that under the new government, the US and the EU will once again become a driving force in international climate protection.
China, whose relations with the United States have taken a nosedive amid widespread frustration in Washington over its human rights record and accusations of technology theft, has expressed cautious hope over the change to the White House.
“China looks forward to working with the new administration to promote healthy and steady development of Sino-US relations and jointly address global challenges of public health, climate change and growth,” the Chinese ambassador tweeted. in the United States, Cui Tiankai.
Congratulations to President Biden on his inauguration! China looks forward to working with the new administration to promote healthy and steady development of Sino-US relations and jointly address global challenges of public health, climate change and growth. @POTUS @Joe Biden
– Cui Tiankai (@AmbCuiTiankai) January 21, 2021
Biden “understands the importance of cooperation between nations,” said former Colombian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan Manuel Santos, who stepped down in 2018. “In fact, if we don’t cooperate – all of us nations – to fight climate change then we will all perish. It’s that simple. “