President Biden offered an apology during the U.N. climate conference for former President Trump’s move to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement.
Speaking in Glasgow, Scotland on Monday with other world leaders, the President expressed remorse for his predecessor’s decision.
“I guess I shouldn’t apologize, but I do apologize for the fact that the United States — the last administration — pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us sort of behind the 8 ball,” Biden said.
Upon entering office on Jan. 20, Biden signed an executive order to have the U.S. re-enter the Paris climate accord, the largest international effort to date aimed at curbing climate change, and one that the U.S. played a key role in negotiating while Biden was vice president.
Soon after he was elected, Trump initiated the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement. There was a four-year waiting period before the the U.S.’s exit was formalized, and the country officially withdrew from the accord late last year, becoming the sole country out of nearly 200 signatories to pull out.
Biden’s latest remarks at the COP26 climate summit reaffirmed his commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030 when compared to 2005 levels. They came on the heels of the President announcing the framework of the Build Back Better package last week, which reiterated his commitment to cutting down greenhouse gas pollution by 2030 as well the creation of a new Civilian Climate Corps to provide jobs that help conserve public lands in addition to addressing climate change.
The framework, however, did not include the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) or a methane fee, two mechanisms for fining polluting industries that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) had taken issue with.