Joe Biden has said that the same day he becomes president, the United States will rejoin the Paris climate treaty if he wins the election.
“Today, the Trump administration has officially left the Paris Climate Convention,” he twittered. “And in exactly 77 days, a Biden administration will rejoin it.”
This will be Biden’s first step in tackling the mammoth task of reversing four years of environmental deregulation.
Today, the Trump administration officially left the Paris Climate Convention. And in exactly 77 days a Biden administration will rejoin it. https://t.co/L8UJimS6v2
– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 5, 2020
President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Convention in June 2017. The White House announced his withdrawal on November 4, 2019. This was exactly three years after the starting date for the USA. The announcement took a year to take effect, so that November 4, 2020 was the first day on which America could legally withdraw.
In the last four years, President Donald Trump’s administration has withdrawn about 100 environmental regulations. It is expected that more will follow, should he win the election.
Throughout his term Trump’s policies undermined efforts to curb climate change and he consistently played down the impact of industry on global warming. And Trump continued to threaten the role of government science until election day.
On October 21, Trump had issued an executive order that, according to Nature, would make it easier for the administration to dismiss people who were not “on the right political line. The Nature article said that U.S. researchers were concerned that the order “represents another attack in a four-year war against science waged by the Trump administration.
Biden’s approach to science and environmental regulations is completely different. Before the election, he announced a $2 trillion climate change plan – a proposal that aims to address environmental and economic challenges simultaneously. He hopes to create jobs by building sustainable infrastructure and investing in clean energy.
To achieve this and recognize his climate change ambitions, a Biden administration must overcome a number of hurdles, many of which are related to regulations introduced during Trump’s term.
The easiest way will be to rejoin the Paris Accord. This is something he could do on his first day in office, Jeff Colgan, an environmental and political scientist at Brown University, told Washington Newsday by e-mail.
Colgan, who is an associate professor of political science and director of the Climate Solutions Lab, is one of the authors of a guide for the next U.S. president on climate change. He said that the process of reconnecting to the Paris Accord could take only a few weeks.
However, other environmental regulations will be more difficult to undo.
“The challenges will initially depend on what kind of Congress he will face,” Colgan said. “If there is a blue wave, and the Democrats have both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Biden could be challenged the hardest by the courts, where his environmental laws and regulations are challenged in hostile courts thanks to the many judges appointed by Trump.
“But if he faces a split or even united Congress, Biden will have to work hard to gain broad political support for the kind of infrastructure spending he plans in his $2 trillion pledge.
Colgen said the job creation side of his climate plan should help him, especially after the economic impact of COVID-19. One in four adults in the U.S. say that he or someone in his household has lost their job due to the pandemic, according to a Pew study published in September.
“Ultimately, Biden’s best strategy may be less about playing defense, i.e., dealing with Trump’s actions, and more about playing the kind of green infrastructure and innovation incentives that the U.S. needs for the future,” Colgen said.
“Biden should set his goals so much higher than simply undoing the effects of Trump’s presidency.
Mark P. Nevitt, an associate professor of law at Syracuse University specializing in climate change law and policy, told Washington Newsday earlier that a Biden victory would be the “first real opportunity” for climate change legislation in many years