Biden returns US to Paris climate change agreement

The president also signed an executive order to halt the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline

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The US is to rejoin the Paris climate change agreement after Joe Biden signed an executive order just hours after being sworn in as President.

Mr Biden’s administration will send a letter to the UN to rejoin the international effort to curb global warming, a process that will take 30 days.

The executive order was signed in the White House on Wednesday to work towards limiting global warming to well below 2°C – and preferably to 1.5°C – compared to pre-industrial levels, with countries aiming to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century.

The White House stated: “Our nation will be back in position to exercise global leadership in advancing the objectives of the Agreement, including keeping the world at a safe temperature.”

In addition, Mr Biden tweeted: “We’re back in the Paris Climate Agreement.”

The president also signed an executive order to halt the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which is planned to carry around 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

They are two of nine actions that directly reverse former President Donald Trump’s policies.

Mr Biden has also directed federal agencies to review and reverse more than 100 environmental regulations that were weakened or rolled back by Trump’s administration.