The US remains on track to meet its key climate obligations under the landmark Paris Climate Accord despite a complete lack of contributions over the past four years, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday.
Guterres attributed the fact to the "fantastic mobilization" of sub-national actors, including state and local governments, private companies and civil society during former US President Donald Trump's tenure.
"That has allowed the situation that we have today in which the US is still on time to be fully on track for net zero in 2050, and for being part of the global effort to keep the temperatures below 1.5 degrees of growth by the end of the century,” the UN chief told reporters at the international body's New York headquarters.
Trump began the process to formally withdraw the US from the historic climate pact shortly after he assumed office in 2017, claiming it treated the US unfairly and would result in job losses.
But the process could not be completed until Nov. 4, 2020 -- two days before the US's presidential election which Trump lost to Joe Biden by more than 7 million votes.
Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the agreement during his first day in office, and John Kerry, his special climate envoy, is set to join Guterres on Friday to celebrate the US's re-entry at the opening session of the US's Global Engagement Summit.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington