U.S. rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The United States officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement today, according to a statement released by Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken.

“On January 20, on his first day in office, President Biden signed the instrument to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement. Per the terms of the Agreement, the United States officially becomes a Party again today,” the statement reads.

Under the agreement’s rules, a country can formally re-enter the pact 30 days after it gives notice to the United Nations. Today is end of the 30-day period.

The statement continues, “Addressing the real threats from climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our domestic and foreign policy priorities.

The statement goes on to say that re-joining the agreement is “momentous.”

“Now, as momentous as our joining the Agreement was in 2016 — and as momentous as our rejoining is today — what we do in the coming weeks, months, and years is even more important.”

The Trump administration announced its withdrawal from the Paris agreement in 2019 saying it was in the United States’ “economic interest to do so.” Because of provisions in the agreement, Trump’s order did not go into effect until Nov. 4, 2020 – one day after Biden won the presidential election.

Once Biden took office, he appointed former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry – who helped negotiate the Paris deal in 2015 – as the first-ever presidential envoy on climate and made him a part of his National Security Council.

“Today’s the day. We’re officially back in the Paris Agreement – again part of the global climate effort. No country can fight this fight on its own. We look forward to a productive year and a successful #COP26 in Glasgow. #GoodToBeBack,” Kerry wrote on Twitter.

Kerry will join the U.N. chief on Friday for an event to mark the U.S. return to the pact.

Biden has also said his administration will hold a Leaders’ Climate Summit on Earth Day, April 22, as part of its climate diplomacy.