Just days after the presidential election in November, the United States under then-President Donald Trump officially withdrew from the Paris climate agreement aimed at curbing global greenhouse gas emissions.

On the first day of President Joe Biden’s presidency, the country is officially back in that international accord — and Hawaii’s Democratic leaders are lauding the move.

“We welcome (Biden’s) executive order bringing the United States back into the world community by rejoining the Paris Agreement,” Gov. David Ige said in a statement Wednesday. “Hawaii is a national leader in climate action, embracing the principles and goals of the Paris Agreement in law and igniting a race to 100% renewable electricity among the states and around the world.”

Large solar farms like this one on Kauai are helping wean Hawaii off fossil fuels. The state’s Democratic leadership on Wednesday lauded the U.S.’s return to the Paris Agreement. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2019

The nation’s lone island state participated in the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan consortium of 25 governors who pledged to follow the pact even if the U.S. pulled out as a whole. The state has one of the nation’s more ambitious clean energy policies, having set a goal to power the islands using 100% renewable sources by 2045.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a proponent of more aggressive federal action to help curb climate change, echoed Ige’s comments Wednesday.

“Solving this planetary emergency now demands urgent, unprecedented cooperation on a global scale — and that depends on renewed American leadership,” Schatz said in a separate statement. “Under this new Administration, we will bring the global community back to the table and rally the world around the bigger, bolder climate action we need to win this fight.”

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, although experts say the deal isn’t aggressive enough in order to hit that goal.

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