Kerry promises Europeans Biden will seek to make up time on climate action
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday vowed during an appearance at an Italian climate conference that the Biden administration would make up for the past four years of climate inaction under former President Trump.
In his first international address since President Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, Kerry thanked European nations for their efforts to combat climate change as the Trump administration largely stepped away from such endeavors, according to a report by The Associated Press.
On his first day in office, Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris climate agreement. Trump had pulled the U.S. from the agreement, arguing it disadvantaged U.S. workers.
Kerry asserted that the U.S. would now be re-engaging in the fight against climate change, saying, “Failure is not an option.”
Biden also signed several climate-related executive orders, stopped construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and halted oil and gas leasing at an Alaska wilderness refuge. Biden’s decision to stop the Keystone pipeline drew the ire of Canadian government officials, who are largely in favor of the project. It also brought criticism from congressional Republicans and some business groups.
In his inaugural address, Biden cited “a climate in crisis” as one of the many challenges he faces as he assumes office.
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the U.S. back into the Paris agreement on Wednesday following Biden and Harris’s inauguration.
In a tweet, Macron said, “We are together. We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!”