January 18, 2021

ActionAid USA applauds President-Elect Biden’s plans to use executive authority to immediately roll back many of the Trump administration’s most damaging decisions, including re-entering the Paris Agreement on climate change, but cautions more action needs to be taken.

Rejoining the Paris Agreement is just the beginning. The United States has a uniquely large climate footprint, as well as massive resources compared to many other countries in the world. In order for the United States to show the global community that it is serious about tackling climate change in cooperation with other countries, the first step is committing to do our fair share – not, as we have historically done, telling other countries what they should be doing while shirking our own responsibility.

The Biden administration must not simply take us back to the pre-Trump status quo. “Building back better” should mean a new vision for a more just and sustainable society. That holds true in economic justice, immigrant justice, racial justice – and also climate justice. Re-entering the Paris Agreement is the right first step. But we have to do more, and we have to do it quickly, to have any hope of averting the worst of the climate crisis. We look forward to seeing the full scope of the administration’s agenda and working together to ensure the rights and dignity of everyone – in the United States and elsewhere – are fully realized.