Posts tagged with "Obama administration"

U.S.A. officially rejoins Paris Climate Agreement

February 22, 2021

The United States officially rejoined the Paris climate change agreement on Friday, February 19, as President Joe Biden continued to put global diplomacy and environmental policy at the center of his agenda, The Wall Street Journal reports.

On his first day in office last month Biden took an initial step toward rejoining the global accord—from which his predecessor in the White House had lost no time disengaging.

Under the agreement’s rules, a country can formally re-enter the pact 30 days after it gives notice to the United Nations. Friday marked the end of that 30-day period.

“The work to reduce our emissions has already begun, and we will waste no time in engaging our partners around the world to build our global resilience,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter.

Trump argued that the agreement’s terms weren’t fair to America because other major energy consuming nations weren’t doing enough to cut emissions under the pact. Although Trump repeatedly said during his presidency that the U.S.A. was no longer a party to the agreement; the withdrawal became effective in early November 2020, near the end of his term, because it took time to formally exit the pact.

Biden has named climate change as one of four crises he hopes to address during his presidency, along with the pandemic, the ailing economy and racial injustice, the Journal notes. The president tapped two veteran public advocates for climate action—former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy—for senior roles in his administration.

Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, will take a leading role in international climate talks. McCarthy, the first-ever White House national climate adviser, will focus on domestic climate matters.

The more than 190 countries that signed the Paris agreement set a goal of containing the rise in global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably to no more than 1.5 degrees, to limit the effects of climate change.

Under the Paris agreement, which was negotiated in 2015 and signed in 2016, each country crafted its own pledge to tackle climate change. The Obama Administration in its pledge, known as a nationally determined contribution, said it would cut U.S. emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

According to the Journal, the Biden administration is now working on a new target. The White House has said the president is expected to announce the target at an Earth Day Climate Summit with world leaders set for April 22.

The president created a National Climate Task Force comprising Cabinet secretaries and other senior officials to help implement his climate agendas.

Research contact: @WSJ

California Dreamin’ of DACA

December 8, 2017

According to a recent poll commissioned by The California Endowment, voters across the state are very familiar with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and want to see it become law.

About 75% of those surveyed offered overall support of DACA, with 74% saying they back a permanent DACA program. Conversely, voters overwhelming disapprove of a repeal of the program.

DACA is a U.S. immigration program that began under then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano of the Obama administration in June 2012. The administrative program allows undocumented residents who entered the country before their 16th birthdays— and before June 2007—to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. These young adults are often referred to as “dreamers,” and many came to America as young children, which means this is the only country they know as home.

The survey of more than 1,000 voters was conducted by a bipartisan team—Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates (FM3) and Public Opinion Strategies. They found that support cut across many of California’s demographic groups, including support from three in five moderate  and liberal Republicans (60%) who back DACA.

“Once again, California proves that we don’t follow; we lead,” said Dr. Tony Iton, senior vice president with The California Endowment. “We must not be divided by our differences. We believe in these young people, and we know they are the reason California thrives.”

Research contact: sreyes@calendow.org

Most U.S. adults oppose trophy hunting

November 21, 2017

In October 2015, The Humane Society of the United States  conducted a survey following the trophy killing of Cecil the Lion in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, by a U.S. hunter, Dr. Walter J. Palmer, during the previous summer. At that time, U.S. adults said, by a two to one margin, that they opposed hunting for the purpose of acquiring parts of the killed animal as trophies.

Recently, the Trump administration announced a planned reversal of the Obama administration policy banning imports into the United States of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe. After a barrage of denunciations from animal conservation groups and U.S. voters nationwide, Trump put the reversal on temporary hold—warning that he still might go ahead with it in the weeks to come.

While no recent polling results have been released, at the time of the Humane Society poll, 74%  of respondents also said they were opposed to “canned hunting,” which allows animals like lions to be bred and hunted in fenced enclosures for trophies.

Two-thirds of Americans support listing African lions under the Endangered Species Act, in order to to give the species greater federal protections; and 64% support placing restrictions on trophy hunting of native animals,such as bobcats and mountain lions.

By more than a three-to-one margin, respondents said that if they could travel to Africa, they would prefer to spend their tourism dollars in a country that prohibits trophy hunting rather than one that allows it.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS said: “The wounding and killing of Cecil gave Americans a glimpse of the ugliness of the trophy hunting subculture.

“Killing animals as a head-hunting exercise is cruel, colonial, self-aggrandizing, larcenous and shameful.  The celebrating of the killing— as hunters sit or stand atop a bloodied yet majestic and often endangered animals—shows a profound detachment from the other species who share this planet with us.”

The survey was conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of The HSUS among  3,668 U.S. adults.

 Research contact: namini@humanesociety.org.