WASHINGTON – The re-entry of the United States into the Paris Agreement takes effect today. Friends of the Earth International, along with Friends of the Earth U.S., Sahabat Alam Malaysia/Friends of the Earth Malaysia, and Friends of the Earth Europe, released the following statements in response:
Karen Orenstein, Climate and Energy Program Director at Friends of the Earth U.S., said:
Rejoining the Paris Agreement was the right move for the United States, but it was just the easy first step. President Biden must follow through on his commitment to do more by centering environmental justice in his approach to the climate crisis globally. This includes the United States doing its fair share to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C and providing climate finance for developing countries in line with science, equity, and justice.
Meena Raman, of Sahabat Alam Malaysia/Friends of the Earth Malaysia said:
The U.S. must not repeat its earlier bullying stance of blocking and undermining developing countries on issues such as equity between countries and the transfer of finance and technology, including for loss and damage. To be taken seriously, President Biden must go far beyond just rejoining the Paris Agreement – he must listen and work cooperatively with developing countries in addressing the challenges they face in implementing more climate action in the face of the pandemic and growing indebtedness. The U.S. must be seen as a cooperative player, taking responsibility for its historical emissions and doing its fair share of action to phase out fossil fuels and increase its financial contributions.
Dipti Bhatnagar, International Programme Coordinator for Climate Justice and Energy with Friends of the Earth International, from Mozambique, said:
The United States’ refusal to accept and address the high level of responsibility it bears for the climate crisis and encouragement of high-carbon lifestyles has resulted in untold suffering for women, men, and children throughout the developing world. Droughts are destroying crops, cyclones are leveling homes, and whole nations are literally disappearing. The livelihoods and dignity of billions of people who didn’t create the climate crisis require that the Biden Administration takes immediate and far-reaching climate action driven by justice, equity, and science.
Susann Scherbarth, climate justice campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said:
Now the U.S. has re-entered the Paris Agreement, it’s up to President Biden and his administration to prove the United States is credible on the climate crisis. Both the USA and the EU still have very far to go to transform into fossil-free societies and do their fair share of climate action – and there isn’t much time left. There is no space for unrealistic distractions like carbon offsets, carbon capture, and geoengineering.
197 countries have signed the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with an aim of 1.5°C.