Why Biden's First Move was to Rejoin Paris Climate Accord
New President recognises there is safety in numbers
President Biden’s top priority move to reconnect the USA with the Paris Climate Accord has been widely welcomed across America, and all over the world.
Quite simply, there is no greater crisis humankind faces than the climate emergency. On top of this, we are destroying our species, our seas and our land in so many other ways that we truly are speeding up the passage of time towards earth’s sixth mass extinction.
Action was needed a long time ago. Like a relay runner handing on the baton, previous generations have now put us in the fast lane. We are approaching the end of our time to take control. There is nobody else to pass the baton to, just the end point ahead. We need to take hold and race on with purpose to reach the line before the crisis overtakes us.
It’s not easy to race against time when you are being pulled back, however.
Former President Trump removed America from the Paris Climate Accord — the only country to leave, out of almost 200 that signed a pact in 2005 to help save the planet by reducing greenhouse gases, among other targets.
Trump’s comment that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” which was quickly decried by the Mayor of Pittsburgh, spoke volumes about his lack of understanding about the climate emergency.
This isn’t an issue that can be handled by nationalism or patriotism. There is no ‘America first’ on climate. It affects the whole world, and only by working together can we reverse some of the damage already done, and fend off catastrophes heading our way.
Economic reasons have often been given to support removing America from the global firefighting team. But that misses the point entirely.
And besides, these theories have often been debunked, with plenty of evidence pointing to the economic benefits of chasing the Paris Agreement goals.
A victory for science
Another problem, of course, is that Trumpism has been twisted in science denial.
Even though 97% of scientists around the world believe human activities have contributed to dangerous levels of global warming.
America is one of the few nations where climate crisis deniers are still given a hearing. Out of 23 major countries, only Saudi Arabia and Indonesia had a higher proportion of doubters than the United States, a recent survey found.
Science has been politicised in the United States. That is a major reason why there have been so many Covid-19 deniers. The same reasons the pandemic threw up shoals of conspiracy theorists, also gave rise to climate emergency disputers.
Even so, there remained hope. A 2019 poll found that 8 in 10 Americans believed human activity was fueling climate change. About half believed action was urgently needed within the next decade. Two-thirds claimed former President Trump wasn’t doing enough to tackle the crisis.
Trump knew better of course. His administration ripped up environmental protections left, right and centre to travel back in time and give advantage to fossil fuel industries.
Now President Biden has vowed to put the environment first when it comes to policy decisions. The world and all its wonderful variation of life and habitats will be breathing a sigh of relief — even though there is a gargantuan amount of work ahead.
The main advantage is, we have strength in numbers. The more we work together, the more chance we have of making this a better world for everyone and every lifeform — giving future generations, our children and grandchildren, hope of breathing in cleaner air and suffering fewer environmental disasters.
President Biden signed 17 executive orders within hours of taking office, two of them key environmental promises — rejoining the Paris climate accord and cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline.
He has also directed his agencies to review and reverse more than 100 damaging environmental actions made by Trump.
It is surely clear for everyone to see that the future health of the planet, aptly looks to have been given a timely shot in the arm.