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Biden, parties commit to Paris climate accord

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WILMINGTON, DE – NOVEMBER 04: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks one day after Americans voted in the presidential election, on November 04, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden spoke as votes are still being counted in his tight race against incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump which remains too close to call. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP


On the heels of the United States withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, president-elect, Joe Biden, and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have reiterated their commitment to the accord. 

The United States is the second-largest emitter worldwide and its promised emissions cuts accounted for about 20 per cent of global reductions. According to civil society groups, US directly subsidises the fossil fuel industry with approximately $20 billion yearly. Biden tweeted that “in exactly 75 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.

“The US will have the most progressive position on climate change in the nation’s history.” Biden has already laid out a $2 trillion clean energy and infrastructure plan, a commitment to rejoin the Paris agreement and a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Biden said in July: “If I have the honour of being elected president, we’re not just going to tinker around the edges. We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity, and meet this moment in history.

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“It aims to achieve a power sector that’s free from carbon pollution by 2035 — in a country with the largest reserves of coal on the planet.”

Biden administration aims to revitalise the US auto industry and become a leader in electric vehicles, and to upgrade four million buildings and two million homes over four years to meet new energy efficiency standards

Meanwhile, Chile, France, Italy, UK and United Nations are set to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement in December 12. “We must ensure that it is implemented in full. We note with regret that the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has formally come into effect,” according to a joint statement.

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They said: “We remain committed to working with all US stakeholders and partners around the world to accelerate climate action, and with all signatories to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“The Paris Agreement provides the right framework to achieve this. Our efforts must include support for those countries and communities at the frontline of climate change.

It is vital that we take renewed action to hold the temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and take best efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

“There is no greater responsibility than protecting our planet and people from the threat of climate change. The science is clear that we must urgently scale up action and work together to reduce the impacts of global warming and to ensure a greener, more resilient future for us all.”

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