By MICHELLE STODDART, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — This is Day 31 of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Here is how events are unfolding Friday. All times Eastern:
Feb 19, 9:15 am
Biden offers support to Texas in call with governor
Biden spoke to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about the severe weather situation in Texas, according to a readout released by the White House Thursday night. Biden offered his support to the people of Texas during the call.
“He reiterated that the federal government will continue to work hand-in-hand with state and local authorities in Texas to bring relief and address the critical needs of the families affected,” the White House readout said. “He also shared his intentions to instruct additional federal agencies to look into any immediate steps that could be taken to support Texans at this time.”
Feb 19, 7:50 am
US officially rejoins Paris Agreement
The United States officially rejoined the Paris Agreement on Friday.
Biden signed a memo on his first day in office as president initiating the country’s re-entry into the climate accord — a process that takes 30 days.
“The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented framework for global action. We know because we helped design it and make it a reality,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Friday. “Now, as momentous as our joining the Agreement was in 2016 — and as momentous as our rejoining is today — what we do in the coming weeks, months, and years is even more important.”
To celebrate the move, Biden’s special envoy for climate change, John Kerry, will hold four events on Friday, including with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The U.S. has not yet offered specifics around its re-entry. There has been no announcement about new financial support, U.S. climate financing or what will be the country’s target emission reductions under the deal, known as its Nationally Determined Contribution.
The U.S. became the first country in the world to formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement in November, more than three years after former President Donald Trump announced the move.
“Climate change and science diplomacy can never again be ‘add-ons’ in our foreign policy discussions,” Blinken said. “Addressing the real threats from climate change and listening to our scientists is at the center of our domestic and foreign policy priorities.”
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