The United States rejoins the Paris climate agreement – Joint communiqué issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition (22 Jan. 2021)


The American people have chosen a new president, elected with the goal of rejoining the Paris climate agreement and sparing no effort in the fight against climate change.

While the U.S. decision to rejoin the Paris climate agreement has just been made, France welcomes the fact that the United States is fully committed alongside the states that are determined to take action to address climate disruption. Welcome back! As President Macron indicated, “it is together that we can succeed in meeting the challenges of our time. It is all together that we can change the climate situation by taking action for our planet.”

The consequences of global warming are increasingly apparent, notably in the United States which has been hard hit by wildfires, floods and hurricanes. Citizens are calling for strong action in the face of the challenge of the century.

A movement was launched in 2020 to raise the climate ambition of all countries between now and COP26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow at the end of the year. At the Climate Ambition Summit organized by the UN, the United Kingdom and France to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, more than 70 countries made new announcements with respect to carbon neutrality, increased nationally determined contributions and climate finance.

The pandemic crisis should allow us to accelerate the ecological transition on a global scale toward a decarbonization of our economies by the middle of the century and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new green jobs. We are dependent on one another, and like the virus, greenhouse gases know no borders. International cooperation and solidarity are the only way to meet this challenge: preserving the common good that is our planet.

The European Union has shown leadership with the announcement of climate neutrality as of December 2019 and the stepping up, one year later, of its commitments to reduce emissions to at least 55% of 1990 amounts by 2030. With €23 billion in 2019, the EU is the world’s leading contributor of climate finance.

Today states representing about 65% of global C02 emissions and 70% of the economy have pledged to achieve zero net emissions or carbon neutrality. We need all countries, including the United States, to mobilize their efforts in this global fight. We also hope that the United States will rejoin the Green Climate Fund that France is co-chairing this year with Mexico.

Beyond the Paris agreement, France and its European partners are committed to working with the United States within the G7 and the G20 toward the success of the major deadlines coming up in 2021 relating to the protection of biodiversity and the preservation of the environment.