Secretary of State Tony Blinken announced Friday that the United States formally rejoined the Paris climate agreement, arguing it will "help us all avoid catastrophic planetary warming" and "build resilience" around the world.
The largely symbolic act comes as the Biden administration has quickly moved to reverse the energy policies of former President Donald Trump -- including revoking the Keystone XL pipeline permit. President Biden has also signed executive actions to eliminate federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and moved to halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.
Blinken, in a statement Friday, described the agreement as an "unprecedented framework for global action."
"We know because we helped design it and make it a reality," he said. "Its purpose is both simple and expansive: to help us all avoid catastrophic planetary warming and to build resilience around the world to the impacts from climate change we already."
Republicans have pushed back at the action.
"By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted last month. "This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans."
Biden, on his first day in office, signed papers to rejoin the Paris climate accord. The Trump administration officially left the agreement last year. The Paris Agreement was a global pact created during the Obama administration to combat climate change.
Blinken, on Friday, said "as momentous" as the United States’ first joining was in 2016, and as "momentous as our rejoining is today—what we do in the coming weeks, months, and years is even more important."
Blinken said Americans will "continue to see" the Biden administration "weaving climate change into our most important bilateral and multilateral conversations on all levels" and asking global partners to discuss ways to "do more together."