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U.S/Paris accord: Climate activists in South Africa welcome move

US President Joe Biden speaks about the Covid-19 response as US Vice President Kamala Harris looks on before signing executive orders in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2021.   -  
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South Africa

Climate activists in South Africa have welcomed the U.S President Joe Biden's move to rejoin the Paris climate accord. This comes more than three years after former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S out of the agreement.

Hours after his inauguration on Wednesday, Biden signed an executive order to begin the process of getting the country back into the climate treaty.

Vishwas Satgar, a climate activist and an associate professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, said the test for Biden would be whether he could carry out his climate agenda both domestically and internationally.

"This is a presidency that wants to ensure that there is a future for younger people on our planet. So, again, the test is going to be on how he overcomes the constraints, how he drives this agenda and even pushes back entrenched interests", Satgar said.

For Greenpeace southern Africa spokesperson, Happy Khambule, having the ‘’free world’’ back was a "welcome step".

"So the US coming back into the Paris agreement is a welcome step. It is important, it is necessary, but the actual work in terms of actually achieving the Paris agreement targets, including having the United States put forward a good-faith contribution in terms of what they want to do internally, is going to be the next step", Khambule said.

One of the key pillars of Biden’s campaign was to join other world leaders in tackling the crisis facing our planet today.

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