Rejoining the Paris Agreement is a significant step by the Biden administration to reverse the climate policies of the last four years, during which Trump rolled back or loosened many of the country’s bedrock environmental policies and regulations.
“Now, as momentous as our joining the Agreement was in 2016 — and as momentous as our rejoining is today — what we do in the coming weeks, months, and years is even more important,” Blinken added in a statement.
Under the agreement, countries are expected to enhance their commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions every five years. The goals of the global pact are to limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
Under the Obama administration, the US had pledged to slash carbon emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
2020 was supposed to be the next mile marker for nations to increase their greenhouse gas emission pledges, but the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the climate negotiations to November in Glasgow, Scotland.
Biden plans to host a climate summit of world leaders on Earth Day, April 22, where he will roll out the US’ goal for reductions of carbon emissions by 2030 — known as the nationally determined contribution under the Paris accord.
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Michael Callahan contributed to this report.