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Op-Ed: the Paris Climate Accord's Effect on the American People

Remember 2015’s Paris Climate Agreement? The agreement was monumental for the world’s climate policy and general responsibility. Drafted at the UN’s Paris, France meeting on December 12, 2015, the agreement was initially a consensus between the most industrialized countries to reach an agreement in mitigating their rate of carbon emissions (and general pollution). Much controversy surrounded it after the original signing, as many of the leading countries in pollution were accused of not following such policy standards. One of the most iconic cases was the Trump administration who withdrew from the agreement on August 4, 2017. However, after Joe Biden defeated the former president in the 2020 election, his first action was to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. This op-ed focuses on the effect of rejoining on the American perception of climate policy and the broader climate movement.

After four years of uncertainty around the future of the United States’ climate responsibility, an improvement was finally completed. If not for the Biden administration’s rejoining of the agreement, what would the future of the country’s climate policy entail? Greenhouse emissions remain prevalent, several politicians deny the effectiveness of renewable energy, and the amount of climate devastation is skyrocketing. Evidently, the United States joining the Paris Accord is a positive increment to the United States’ climate policy. After all, the agreement lists a vast amount of objectives for its constituent parties to follow and as such is a model upon which states are able to establish their climate policy. The United States deciding to rejoin is merely a revision of its previous isolationist, falsely exceptional position on climate. The fact of president Biden rejoining as an executive order is subject to convincing the highly impressionable American population that climate agreement is an attempt to improve the planet (and humanity) instead of serving Wall Street’s environmentally unsustainable interests and morally questionable ventures. This is not to imply the Biden administration’s policy is perfect, albeit this is a definite advancement.

An executive order from the president of the United States on climate policy further ingrains the notion to the general population about the urgency of the universal climate crisis. Many Americans idealize the image of a robust leader with rigid foreign policy protecting the interests of the United States. Not only does the rejoining of the agreement strengthen the United States’ climate policy, it also instills a new consensus among the American population about the United States’ cooperation with other countries without any form of evil imperialist hegemony or the previous administration’s rugged neo-fascist isolationism. The rejoining of the Paris Accord also contains the possibility for Americans to view the climate movement as a rightfully described benefit to the population’s intellectual and environmental conscience, a grassroots movement of all grassroots movements. The rejoining of the Paris Climate Agreement is a message to the world that the path to climate reconciliation is a collective, communitarian effort.

In conclusion, the United States’ rejoining of the Paris Climate Agreement is a positive step towards improving the country’s climate policy and domestic reputation. By rejoining the agreement as an executive order the general population is able to identify the serious situation of climate reform and view the nascent climate movement from a positive perspective. As we know, repairing the plethora of problems humanity has inflicted upon our dear planet involves ALL of us, including our government.

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