U.S. expected to return to the Paris Agreement under President Biden


Rejoining the global fight against climate change was one of Joe Biden’s signature campaign promises, and he is expected to return the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement as one of his first acts upon becoming president on Jan. 20. 

“He will say ‘We want back in’ on Day One, I’d imagine,” said George Mason University’s Ed Maibach, a University Professor and the director of the Center for Climate Change Communication

Signed by 196 countries in 2016, the Paris Agreement was the world’s first comprehensive climate change agreement and seeks to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  

The United States formally withdrew from the accord in November 2019, but an executive order from President Biden is expected to reverse that decision. 

“The U.S. is the second-largest polluter in the world right now and, historically, we’ve done the most polluting of the atmosphere and the ocean,” Maibach said. “We have a huge obligation to the world to help clean up the mess we created.” 

Ed Maibach can be reached at emaibach@gmu.edu

For more information, contact John Hollis at jhollis2@gmu.edu

About George Mason 

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.