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Biden on the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change: U.S. leadership needed – statement Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 25, 2021

Five years ago today, the world gathered to adopt the Paris Agreement on climate change. The product of years of tough diplomacy, the Paris Agreement created an unprecedented framework for global action to avoid potentially catastrophic planetary warming, while building global resilience to the climate impacts we are already experiencing. It sent a clear signal that nearly 200 countries were — finally, together —moving toward a clean-energy future.

U.S. leadership was essential to negotiating Paris and indispensable to bringing the Agreement into force. Over the last four years, however, the world has lost that momentum, and nations and people in every part of the world are feeling the devastating impacts of a changing climate. We haven’t come close to the bold action that’s needed, and today, we have no time to waste.

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The United States will rejoin the Paris Agreement on day one of my presidency, and I’ll immediately start working with my counterparts around the world to do all that we possibly can, including by convening the leaders of major economies for a climate summit within my first 100 days in office. The Biden-Harris Administration will increase the ambition of our domestic climate target and put the country on a sustainable path to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050. We’ll elevate the incredible work cities, states, and businesses have been doing to help reduce emissions and build a cleaner future. We’ll listen to and engage closely with the activists, including young people, who have continued to sound the alarm and demand change from those in power. And we’ll do all of this knowing that we have before us an enormous economic opportunity to create jobs and prosperity at home and export clean American-made products around the world, harnessing our climate ambition in a way that is good for American workers and the U.S. economy.

As we mark this anniversary, I am grateful to leaders around the world and across the country — at all levels — who remained steadfast in their commitment to the goals we embraced five years ago in Paris. And, under a Biden-Harris Administration, America will be back working with our partners around the world to ensure we realize those goals for the sake of our families and future generations.

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