On Anniversary of Paris Agreement, A Welcome Step Forward From President-elect Biden

December 10, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Church World Service applauded the commitment by President-elect Biden to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this Saturday, December 12th. To mark the occasion, Reverend John L. McCullough, president and CEO of Church World Service issued the following statement:

“Church World Service welcomes President-elect Biden’s pledge to immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement, which, five years ago today, came into being. Doing so repositions United States as important actor, allowing it to regain some badly needed credibility with world leaders, and reigniting global involvement in critical international climate negotiations whose legitimacy had started to flail following the disastrous decision of the Trump administration to withdraw from it.

“And not a moment too soon. As the entire planet struggles to face the continuing challenge of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, balanced, yet bold American action—on both domestic environmental challenges and international targets—is perhaps more important today than at any other time in America’s history. If the events of 2020 have laid bare the tragic, ongoing fissures in the social fabric of our own country, they have also illustrated how deeply connected America is to the rest of the world. Inequality, hunger, vulnerability, and climate induced displacement are today as much American stories as they are international ones. CWS bears witness to and responds to both.

“We accompany at-risk communities both at home and abroad: refugees and asylum seekers who journey from far to call America home, migrants who face threats to life and dignity while in transit or upon reaching borders, and—increasingly—families and communities who must weigh difficult choices of moving or adapting in place, in the face of climate change’s impacts. All people deserve to lead lives of dignity wherever they are, and whether near or far, all are our neighbors. Climate change places us all at greater risk and makes it even more critical that we join like-minded and like-hearted people, worldwide, in a collective response.

“Resuming climate talks is but the start of what America now needs to do to achieve the urgent, ambitious action which climate science has long advised. Principles of fairness and equity must guide what America does next, which must include nationwide action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—rapid disbursement of climate finance – pledged, but not yet delivered—as well as scaled up channeling of adaptation, mitigation, and resilience funding to the developing world so that they have a fighting chance to prepare. This is all squarely in the interest of the United States.”

For more information on Church World Service’s commitment to a sustainable future, visit CWSGlobal.org.