Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden said he would bring the United States back to the Paris Climate Accord on his first day in office, if he wins the election.
The United States officially left the accord on Nov. 4, becoming the only nation to do so. President Donald Trump said the agreement would harm American jobs and would be damaging to the U.S. economy.
“The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers—who I love—and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories and vastly diminished economic production,” Trump stated in 2017.
Former President Barack Obama joined the deal during the final months of his administration.
“One of the reasons I ran for this office was to make sure that America does its part to protect this planet for future generations,” Obama said. “Over the past seven and a half years, we’ve transformed the United States into a global leader in the fight against climate change. But this is not a fight that any one country, no matter how powerful, can take alone.”
During the final stretch of his campaign, Biden faced criticism from Republicans over his final debate comments that he would “transition from oil.” He also suffered criticism after he made conflicting statements about hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, for natural gas. In 2019, during a Democratic primary debate, Biden said he would do away with fracking but later clarified his stance, saying he wouldn’t.
After the final debate, Biden’s campaign said he wouldn’t “transition from oil” but would instead end subsidies on oil production.
Biden, in a news conference on Nov. 4, said his campaign believes he will be the winner.
“When the count is finished, we believe we will be the winner,” he said. “Democracy is the heartbeat of this nation [it’s been] the heartbeat of this nation for two centuries. It is their will who will determine who will be the president of the United States.”
“Every indication shows” that Biden will win the popular vote in the United States, he said at the conference. “Indeed, Senator [Kamala] Harris and I are on track to win more” votes than “any ticket” ever.