President Biden did not waste any time in putting ESG at the heart of his new administration.
As we noted after November’s election, one of the President’s key pledges was to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement. He delivered on this on his inauguration day by signing an executive order yesterday. The move, which will take 30 days to become effective, is seen as a key step by the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Looking ahead, an early milestone for the Biden Administration will be the next climate change conference, which the UK is hosting in Glasgow in November. President Biden took the innovative action of appointing John Kerry to a cabinet level role leading on tackling climate change.
While re-joining the Paris treaty has been praised, it is in many ways the US catching up on lost time. The Glasgow summit will be a key test of Biden’s ability to take the US further and impose more onerous obligations.
In the UK, Boris Johnson has tried to make climate change and green energy a priority for his Government. The Glasgow summit had early challenges, following the dismissal of its former head who then criticised the Government’s preparations. A key area to watch will be how the UK and US seek to cooperate in this area in the run up to Glasgow.
Biden's move to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement signals to the world that the U.S. is serious about addressing climate change again, and that it will have a seat at the table when world leaders meet in Glasgow to make new climate pledges later this year.