March 8, 2021

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10 things you need to know today: February 19, 2021

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The United States officially rejoined the Paris climate accord on Friday, 107 days after former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark treaty took effect. Trump ordered the U.S. pullout from the 2015 international agreement in 2019, but his decision didn’t take effect until Nov. 4, 2020, the day after he lost his bid for re-election. President Biden told the United Nations that the U.S. wanted to return to the accord as soon as he took office. “A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.” The Friday return was largely symbolic, but still important, said former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres. “It’s the political message that’s being sent,” said Figueres, one of the leaders who helped craft the accord’s agreement on reducing greenhouse gases.

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