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Biden vows to rejoin Paris climate agreement on first day of presidency

Biden vows to rejoin Paris climate agreement on first day of presidency

That's just the start

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged to rejoin the Paris climate agreement on his first day in office should he be elected to the presidency.

What are the details?

The former vice president tweeted the news on the same day that the United States officially withdrew from the landmark climate change agreement. President Trump began the process of withdrawal last year, but it finalized Wednesday.

"Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it," Biden tweeted.

Should Biden win the presidency and recommit the country to the agreement, it would mark one of likely many Trump initiatives that Biden would seek to reverse in his first 100 days in office.

What's the background?

President Trump has been a staunch critic of the United States' participation in the international agreement, which commenced under the Obama administration, arguing it "hamstrings the United States while empowering some of the world's top-polluting countries."

The agreement, which aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and limit global temperature rise, would require the U.S. to reduce its emissions by 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, while other countries such as China are required to do comparatively little.

Biden, on the other hand, has made tackling climate change, one of the most important issues to the left wing of the Democratic Party, a central part of his campaign.

He outlined a $1.7 trillion plan to invest in clean energy infrastructure over the next decade and in May tapped progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) to lead his campaign's climate change task force and promote the "Green New Deal."

On his website, Biden calls climate change an "existential threat — not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities, our national security, and our economic well-being" and vowed not only to recommit the U.S. to the Paris agreement but to "go much further than that."

He warned during a campaign event last month that four more years of Trump would lead to the utter destruction of America's suburbs through "hellish" fires, floods, hurricanes, and superstorms.

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