With the election of Joe Biden in the United States, “we have a chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change”

Democrats celebrate Joe Biden's victory at Independance Hall, Philadelphia, Pa., November 7, 2020.

The United States could have stayed four more years out of the fight against climate change. Or even continue to undermine it, as they did under the presidency of Donald Trump. Finally, the future of climate negotiations brightened up on Saturday, November 7, with the election of Joe Biden at the head of the world’s leading economic power. The president-elect has pledged to reinstate the Paris climate agreement, which the United States officially left on Wednesday at the instigation of Donald Trump. And to re-establish the United States as a leader in climate action.

“Today the Trump administration officially left the Paris climate agreement, Joe Biden tweeted Wednesday. And in exactly seventy-seven days a Biden government will join him. “ If the elected president makes a request to the UN on the day of his inauguration, January 20, 2021, the United States will return thirty days later to the Paris agreement. The world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, which accounts for 15% of emissions, will then again join the 195 other signatory countries of this treaty sealed in 2015 in order to limit the climate crisis.

Joe Biden, who called climate change “Existential threat”, also pledged to adopt a carbon neutral target for the United States by 2050. “From now on, the United States, the European Union and China share the same objectives. It is an exceptional configuration, which we experienced once, before the adoption of the Paris Agreement ”, recalls the MEP Pascal Canfin.

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In recent weeks, China, Japan and South Korea have in turn announced a goal of carbon neutrality by 2060 for the first and by 2050 for the other two, according to the European Union and the United Kingdom. With the United States, more than three-fifths of global CO emissions2 will be covered by carbon neutrality commitments.

Nevertheless, “We are unlikely to see global action of sufficient magnitude over the next decade to limit warming to much below 2 ° C [comme le prévoit l’accord de Paris], unless more countries increase their ambitions ”, Justice Nicholas Stern, president of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment Research at the London School of Economics, in a statement. But “The next four years are crucial” and with Joe Biden, he continues, “We have a chance, if we work together, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change”.

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