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Biden Rejoins Paris Climate Accord in First Environmental Action

President Joe Biden swears in presidential appointees in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House, January 20, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

President Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday formally committing the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.

The order was one of over a dozen signed by Biden upon his arrival at the White House, several hours after he was inaugurated as president. Another order commits the U.S. to rejoin the World Health Organization.

“These are two early steps to advance the president’s ambition to re-engage in the world,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told The Wall Street Journal.

Countries that sign the Paris accord commit to reduce their carbon emissions in an attempt to slow the warming of the Earth’s temperature. The accord also calls for changes to the global trading system to accommodate flows of renewable energy.

The Trump administration announced in 2017 that it would exit the Paris accord. Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter in 2019, when the administration moved to withdraw from the accord, that the treaty would place undue burdens on the U.S. energy industry.

“The U.S. approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy,” Pompeo said.

In addition to rejoining the Paris accord, the Biden administration plans to place more stringent energy-efficiency requirements on automakers. Biden’s nominee for energy secretary, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, has been an advocate of restructuring her state’s auto making industry toward the production of electric vehicles.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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