Politics

Biden Set To Rejoin Paris Climate Accord, Impose Curbs On U.S. Oil Industry

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Incoming U. S. president Joe Biden will announce America’s return to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change on Wednesday, the centerpiece of a raft of day-one executive orders aimed at restoring U.S. leadership in combating global warming.

The announcements will also include a sweeping order to review all of ex-President Donald Trump’s actions weakening climate change protections, the revocation of a vital permit for TC Energy’s Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada, and a moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that Trump’s administration had recently opened to development, Biden aides said.

The orders will mark the start of a major policy reversal in the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China, after four years during which Trump’s administration pilloried climate science and rolled back environmental regulation to maximize fossil fuel development.

Biden has promised to put the United States on a track to net-zero emissions by 2050 to match the steep and swift global cuts that scientists say are needed to avoid the most devastating impacts of global warming, using curbs on fossil fuels and massive investments in clean energy.

The path won’t be easy, though, with political divisions in the United States, opposition from fossil fuel companies, and wary international partners concerned about U. S. policy shifts obstructing the way.

“We got off track very severely for the last four years with a climate denier in the Oval Office,” said John Podesta, an adviser to former President Barack Obama who helped craft the 2015 Paris Agreement. “We enter the international arena with a credibility deficit.”

Biden’s orders will also require government agencies to consider revising vehicle fuel efficiency standards and methane emissions curbs, and to study the possibility of re-expanding the boundaries of wilderness national monuments that had been reduced in size by the Trump administration.

Global counterparts and climate advocates welcomed Washington’s return to cooperation on climate change, but expressed some skepticism about its staying power, and its ability to overcome domestic political t… (Read more)

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