The US is back in the international climate game

“On Wednesday, Biden kicked off the process to undo Trump’s prolific environmental rollbacks — totaling nearly 100 during his presidency — and jump-start new climate regulation. One executive order covers a broad range of policies including methane regulations, energy efficiency standards for appliances, fuel efficiency standards for cars, and blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It will take months for agencies to review and rescind Trump’s environmental decisions, but tackling all these regulations at once shows the new administration’s commitment to climate action.”  

“The US will have to play catch-up once it rejoins the Paris agreement. Countries are supposed to impose stricter targets on themselves every five years, with the goal of limiting emissions to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels. Several top emitters, including the European Union, submitted new targets on schedule last month, five years after the first round of targets in 2015.

Biden says he will reestablish the US as a global climate leader, implying that the US will set a new, ambitious 2030 target. But years of inaction under Trump have delayed US emissions reductions, making Biden’s job more difficult.” 

“new legislation for investment and standards will be essential to achieve the rapid emissions cuts the climate emergency calls for. With the narrowest Democratic majority in the Senate, climate legislation will be dependent on the will of the most conservative members of the party, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and the intricacies of the budget reconciliation process”

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