On November 4, 2020, the United States formally left the Paris Agreement. Originally adopted in 2015, and aimed at limiting the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, President Joe Biden, on his first day in office, rejoined the Paris Agreement (which took effect on February 19, 2021) and appointed John Kerry as his energy czar. As Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry will play perhaps the most critical role internationally in managing a planetary crisis. To succeed, he’ll need to repair the diplomatic damage done by former President Donald Trump while steering through clashing interests at home: a defiant private sector on the one hand, and strident climate activists on the other.
There are now 24 states, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, taking part in the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing them to taking real, on the ground action that urgently addresses the climate challenge. In becoming an Alliance member, states commit to:
- Implementing policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025;
- Tracking and reporting progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement.
- Accelerating new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.
More political information is explored on pages within these sections: LOCAL POLITICS, NATIONAL POLITICS, INTERNATIONAL, as well as in LAWS AND LITIGATION. There is in depth information, state by state, in STATES (under the LEARN MORE dropdown menu), including individual state plans to accelerate renewables, key resources, and news.
A stunning timeline, following our nation’s extraordinary lack of progress since 1988, was written by Paul Bledsoe and published in the New York Times on December 29, 2018. This has, unfortunately, not been updated.
Please see the Biden’s Climate Plan page which details the extraordinary commitment his administration is making to climate change.