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U.S. rejoins Paris Climate Accord

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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.

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California bans gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers, opting to be zero emission by 2024

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By 2024, California plans to effectively ban the sale of gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law Saturday. Portable gas-powered generators must also be zero emission by 2028 according to the new law.

The Los Angeles Times spoke to the law’s author, assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park). “It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog-forming and climate-changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates,” Berman told the Times. “This is a pretty modest approach to trying to limit the massive amounts of pollution that this equipment emits, not to mention the health impact on the workers who are using it constantly.”

Then, Berman logged onto Twitter to troll opponents to the law. “This equipment is dangerous to the workers who use it, disruptive to communities, and terribly damaging to our climate,” he tweeted. “MAGA Twitter is losing their ever-loving minds over this. I thought they’d all moved over to Parler?”

Now the state set aside $30 million to towards the transition from gas-powered equipment to zero-emission equipment. However, reporter Phil Wonton points out that it will require 30-40 batteries to get a day’s work done.

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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