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[WASHINGTON] President Joe Biden pledged the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, blocked an oil pipeline project and froze drilling in the Arctic in a series of executive orders hours after theirs In office on Wednesday.

But for the Democrat, who has pledged to reverse four years of environmental damage to his predecessor Donald Trump, that’s just the beginning.

Experts say Mr Biden is the credibility that the USA has lost in the eyes of the international community, needs to rebuild by setting concrete targets for emissions reductions on the way to zero by 2050.

Next, he needs to realize his $ 2 trillion climate change plan, the puts green policies at the heart of the economy and its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic while ensuring a long-term shift that doesn’t sc A future Republican president can easily be reversed.

“I think it’s important that the US show that business is done at home,” David Waskow of the World Resources Institute told AFP.

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The WRI advocates that the US commit to a 45 to 50 percent reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2005.

Mr. Biden has also announced that he will be the heads of state and government of the major economies convened a climate summit within 100 days of his inauguration.

Under the executive ordinances on Wednesday, the Biden government submitted a letter to the United Nations officially triggering a 30-day process for re-entry into the Paris Climate Agreement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the action and the prospect of “the leadership of the United States in accelerating global efforts for net zero emissions” and called on the President to come up with an “ambitious” plan to combat global issues Warming goodbye.

French President Emmanuel Macron praised Mr Biden’s decision to go back to the deal and told him “Welcome back” in a congratulatory message.

Mr. Biden also scrapped the Keystone XL pipeline, which connects the Alberta oil sands with the refineries on the Texas coast – a move that threatens to strain relations with Canada.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who urged Mr Biden to reverse his decision on the pipeline, however, promised to “work together to advance climate action and improve economic growth”.

Beyond Paris, the US Federal government leverages numerous levers, from introducing strict methane limits for new oil and gas infrastructures to aligning federal contracts on renewable energy and zero-emission vehicles.

The Trump administration has rejected a number of environmental regulations, and one to reporters of the new Administration sent information sheet promised to “review all these measures immediately and take appropriate action.” “.

Biden on Wednesday also imposed a temporary moratorium on drilling at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where the Trump administration signed leases on its last full day in office.

During the former Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the US overseas climate negotiations, the inside front will be led by Gina McCarthy, who has selected Mr. Biden as the first national climate advisor.

Mr. Biden will propose an infrastructure-oriented “Build Back Better Recovery Plan” to Congress next month – separately from the Covid and economic stimulus package of 1.9 trillion US dollars he wanted.

This is where things can get more difficult given the razor-thin control of the Senate by the Democratic Party.

The package is expected to be similar to the $ 2 trillion green climate plan that Mr Biden outlined during his campaign.

It promises to “stop the climate crisis for example u manage to build a clean energy economy, tackle environmental injustices and create millions of well-paid union jobs “. “The challenge will be to get Republicans on board with a clean energy infrastructure package that will systematically reduce American emissions,” Paul Bledsoe, climate advisor to former President Bill Clinton, told AFP.

Mr Bledsoe predicted that Mr Biden would first try to work with Republican counterparts to reach the 60-vote threshold required for most laws to be passed. However, if this does not succeed, there are procedures to pass laws by a simple majority of 51 votes.

“The full embedding of climate action in the way we build the economy, how we create jobs and a fair one Ensuring recovery, all of this will make this something long-lasting, “Waskow said.

The political and technical challenges are great and there will be pressure on Mr Biden not to move too quickly from fossil fuels – particularly natural gas, which is the US has helped cut its net emissions for a decade and that is seen as a crucial “bridge”. Energy.

But there is also a time of record recognition of climate change and action by the US public.

A post-election poll published last week by Yale’s climate communications program, found that a majority of voters from both parties support measures to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy.

Fifty-three percent of voters said global warming should be a high or very high priority for the President and Congress, while 66 percent said developing clean energy sources should be a high or very high priority.

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Ref: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg