Base of the Eiffel Tower lit up with the message that everyone can help reduce emissions. Taken during the COP21 in Paris (2015).
Paris Climate Agreement Base of the Eiffel Tower lit up with the message that everyone can help reduce emissions. Taken during the COP21 in Paris (2015). © Madeline Van Tassel / TNC

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U.S. Re-Entry into Paris Agreement is Critical for Global Collaboration

The Next Step is to Increase Ambition to Protect Most Vulnerable Communities

Today, the United States formally re-entered the Paris Climate Agreement, exactly 30 days after President Joe Biden signed the executive order expressing the U.S. intent to return. The Nature Conservancy’s Chief External Affairs Officer Lynn Scarlett issued the following statement in response to the U.S. re-engaging in the international climate change process:

“The U.S. is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter, so a global agreement in which countries have committed to tackle this global climate emergency together was weaker with the absence of a significant missing player. With the U.S. back in, the global community gains momentum in pursuing the critical goal of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees.

“The next step is to increase the ambition of our climate mitigation and adaptation actions. Current promises in the U.S. and across most of the world are not sufficient to protect people and nature from the most dire climate impacts. We look forward to continuing to work with all nations to undertake meaningful and immediate climate actions.

“Complementing government actions, the private sector is accelerating commitments to address climate change. Companies across the planet are making net-zero pledges, supporting climate action, streamlining supply chains to be cleaner, and investing in resilience. These actions affirm that companies see high risks from inaction and economic opportunity in driving toward a nature-positive, clean energy economy.

“In 2017, when the previous U.S. administration decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it was the wrong move. There have been a variety of misconceptions and inaccuracies shared about what Paris engagement means and the opportunities it provides, but The Nature Conservancy sees the systemic, planet-wide climate emergency as exactly the sort of problem requiring international cooperation.

“The U.S. role in that collaboration is fundamental. In Paris, U.S. leadership was critical in driving towards the Agreement language and resolving disputes between various negotiating blocks. The return of the world’s second largest carbon emitter will encourage collective action to address climate change.

“Americans want to see greenhouse gas pollution reduced. By wide margins, in fact. Three in four Americans want to see carbon dioxide managed as a pollutant, and 65 percent of Americans want to see the federal government do more to protect air quality. The Paris Agreement requires the United States to do what Americans consistently and clearly say in public opinion surveys they want their government to do.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.