NOVEMBER 1, 2021
- President Biden apologized for the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
- “I guess I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize,” he said of the 2017 pullout.
- Biden also announced a series of new climate commitments.
President Joe Biden apologized on Monday for the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, saying that it put the US “behind the eight ball a little bit.”
Biden made the remarks during a meeting on “action and solidarity” with world leaders at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
“I guess I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize for the fact the United States, under the last administration, pulled out of the Paris accords,” Biden said.
The session took place after Biden’s speech at the climate conference, where he urged developed nations to do more to assist developing nations in combating the climate crisis.
“We’re standing at an inflection point in world history,” Biden said during his speech, adding that fighting climate change was both a “moral imperative” and an “economic imperative.”
-The Hill (@thehill) November 1, 2021
-NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 1, 2021
To that end, the White House launched on Monday the “President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience,” a “whole-of-government initiative” to stymie the global climate crisis that hopes to have $3 billion in US government funding by fiscal year 2024.
The White House also touted the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better framework released Thursday, as well the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Both could have votes in the House of Representatives this week.
Biden’s rhetoric and climate policy mark a drastic shift from former President Donald Trump, whom he referred to as a “climate arsonist” on the campaign trail last year.
Trump, whose administration withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord with actions in 2017 and 2020, has rejected science-based climate concerns and the threat the crisis poses to the world.
The former president has referred to climate change as a “hoax,” once suggesting that “global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing noncompetitive.” Trump’s claims are at odds with the world’s top scientists, who have repeatedly issued dire warnings about the rapid warming of the planet in recent years.
Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign affairs often put the US at odds with global institutions like the UN. He routinely accused the international community of taking advantage of the US but often made misleading claims in the process.
The former president, for example, justified withdrawing from the Paris climate accord – a historic December 2015 pact between nearly 200 countries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions – by asserting that its terms were unfair to the US. But the pact was nonbinding and allowed each country to set its own targets in terms of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, combined with actions such as pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, strained alliances with other countries. Biden on the campaign trail pledged to revive these global partnerships and prioritize diplomacy. On his first day in office, Biden signed a slew of executive orders – including one for the US to rejoin the Paris agreement.