Three Key Takeaways from President Biden’s Rapid Movement on Climate Policy

BU international relations and environmental policy expert reflects on whirlwind of climate action issued from the Oval Office

Vice President Kamala Harris (from left), White House science advisor Eric Lander, and national climate advisor Gina McCarthy watch as President Joe Biden signs three executive orders aimed at curbing climate change on January 27. Photo by Evan Vucci/AP.

With just over a week in office, President Joe Biden has moved quickly to reinstate the United States into multiple international agreements and agencies through new executive actions that undo moves by the Trump administration—including rejoining the Paris Agreement and halting US withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

“There’s not a single person in the international climate change arena who was sad to see Trump leave office,” says Henrik Selin, a BU Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies associate professor of international relations and associate dean for studies, who specializes in researching international environmental politics and policies. “I do think most are fairly happy that it is Joe Biden [in office] in particular since he has a long-standing history of valuing international cooperation more broadly.”

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