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paris climate change agreement

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According to recent reports, President-elect Joe Biden will issue decrees to reverse President Donald Trump’s travel bans and re-join the Paris climate accord on his first day.

Joe Biden is also expected to focus on reuniting families separated at the US-Mexico border, and to issue mandates on Covid-19 and mask-wearing.

He will be inaugurated on January 20.

All 50 states are on high alert for possible violence in the run-up to the inauguration ceremony, with National Guard troops deployed in their thousands to guard Washington DC.

According to a memo seen by media, in the hours after Joe Biden sets foot in the White House, he will embark on a blitz of executive actions designed to signal a clean break from his predecessor’s administration.

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Among the orders planned soon after taking office are:

  • Returning to the Paris climate change agreement- the global pact on cutting carbon emissions
  • Repealing the controversial travel ban on mostly Muslim-majority countries
  • Mandating the wearing of masks on federal property and when travelling interstate
  • An extension to nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures due to the pandemic

The executive orders are just one part of his ambitious plan for his first 10 days in office, according the memo.

Joe Biden is also expected to send a major new immigration bill to Congress, as well as focusing on passing a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to help the country’s economy recover from coronavirus.

The president-elect has also said his administration will aim to deliver 100 million Covid-19 jabs in his first 100 days in office – describing the rollout so far as a “dismal failure”.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain wrote in the memo: “President-elect Biden will take action – not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration – but also to start moving our country forward.”

Joe Biden is taking over a country in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. Daily deaths from Covid-19 are in their thousands and almost 400,000 have lost their lives.

On top of the virus raging, the country is reeling from recent political violence.

The theme for Joe Biden’s inauguration will be “America United”, with the president-elect focusing on healing political divisions. VP Mike Pence is expected to attend the ceremony, though President Trump has said he will not.

Joe Biden will be sworn in exactly two weeks after the violent riots at the Capitol on January 6 which aimed to thwart his election victory.


The US has issued the first written notification that it intends to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

However, in the notice to the UN, the US State Department said Washington would remain in the talks process.

President Donald Trump drew international condemnation in June when he first announced the US intention to withdraw.

Donald Trump said the deal “punished” the US and would cost millions of American jobs.

August 4 announcement is seen as largely symbolic as no nation seeking to leave the pact can officially announce an intention to withdraw until November 4, 2019.

The process of leaving then takes another year, meaning it would not be complete until just weeks after the US presidential election in 2020.

Any new US president could then decide to rejoin the agreement.

Image source Wikipedia

The US statement read: “Today, the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations in its capacity as depositary for the Paris Agreement regarding the US intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so.

“The United States will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations and meetings… to protect US interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.”

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Two months ago, President Trump indicated he was open to another climate deal “on terms that are fair to the United States”.

However, key signatories to the accord quickly ruled that out. The Paris Agreement took decades to finalize.

The US stance on climate change also caused divisions at the G20 summit in Germany in July.

A joint summit statement said it “took note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement”.

However, leaders of the other G20 members agreed the accord was “irreversible”.

Climate change, or global warming, refers to the damaging effect of gases, or emissions, released from industry, transportation, agriculture and other areas into the atmosphere.

The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global rise in temperature attributed to emissions. Only Syria and Nicaragua did not sign up.

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies says the world’s average temperature has risen by about 0.8C since 1880, two-thirds of that since 1975.

US think tank Climate Interactive predicts that if all nations fully achieve their Paris pledges, the average global surface temperature rise by 2100 will be 3.3C, or 3.6C without the US.