U.S. officially rejoins the Paris Agreement; what’s next?

A local professor explains the significance of the Paris Agreement and the United States’ re-entry into the pact.
U.S. officially rejoined the Paris Agreement
U.S. officially rejoined the Paris Agreement(WHSV)
Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 7:33 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -The United States officially re-entered the Paris Agreement on Friday.

This comes after President Biden signed an executive order shortly after taking office.

The goal of Paris Agreement is reduce carbon emissions on a global scale.

Dr. Wayne Teel is a professor of Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) at James Madison University, and said the re-entry into the climate pact helps the U.S. to be back in environmental discussions.

“It gives us a seat at the table when those agreements are being worked out and we can have a say in the direction of things,” Teel said.

The agreement makes sure countries aren’t alone and forms international cooperation to combat climate change.

Teel said a lot of the environmental damage has been done while the U.S. was not been in the agreement, but said a lot of it was internal damage and that needs to be worked out to reduce emissions.

In rejoining the group, cooperation agreements can be made like sharing technological innovations and strategies for reducing emissions and working as a unit to stop global warming.

Teel said there are things that are easier to tackle as a group because a lot of carbon emission comes from crossing international borders, like flying or trade.

He added that combating climate change is not a quick process, but is an urgent one.

Teel said the recent unusual weather events in Texas and surrounding areas is one of the consequences of climate change because the polar vortex is weakened and frigid air is traveling further south.

And added that extreme weather events will keep happening unless something is done, and cooperation is the best way to do that.

Teel said the Paris Agreement is one of many necessary steps in fighting climate change.

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