Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

President-elect Biden on Wednesday will begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, making good on a highly touted campaign promise.

Catch up fast: President Trump first announced his intention to abandon the accord in June 2017, angering countries worldwide. The U.S. became the only country to pull out of the pact on Nov. 4, 2020, the day after the election and the first possible day for the country to withdraw under the agreement's terms.

How it works: The official U.S. return to the agreement under Biden takes effect in 30 days, and sometime later this year the Biden administration will be expected to submit a new official commitment that pledges domestic reductions in heat-trapping emissions.

The big picture: The Paris Climate Agreement, which marked its fifth anniversary last month, aims to drastically slash greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades to keep Earth's global temperature from rising 2°C, compared to preindustrial levels, by the end of this century.

  • While signatory countries are expected to welcome the return of the U.S., Biden will face tricky geopolitics trying to simultaneously regain credibility and urge other nations to step up their commitments.

Flashback: Trump's withdrawal from the Paris agreement was not the first time a Republican president pulled the U.S. out of an international climate accord. Former President George W. Bush in 2001 abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, a deal signed by his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton.

  • "It's simple for the United States to rejoin, but it's not so simple for the United States to regain its credibility," John Kerry, Biden's special climate envoy, told NPR in December.

Where it stands: U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters last month, that he looked "forward for a very active U.S. leadership in climate action from now on, as the U.S. leadership is absolutely essential."

  • "The United States is the largest economy in the world. It is absolutely essential for our goals to be reached.”

What to watch: Biden has vowed to aggressively tackle climate change, aiming to have a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035 and a net zero-carbon economy by 2050.

  • He is also expected to immediately begin reversing Trump’s rollbacks of environmental regulations.

But, but, but: He’s still unlikely to achieve his biggest goals without major new laws passed by Congress, which will be a tall task, even with Democrats in control of both chambers, per Axios' Amy Harder.

  • Because of those limitations, he's likely to look for achieving America's commitment to the deal by executive actions and leaning on states and other stakeholders that have been reducing emissions over the last four years.

What we're watching: Biden has pledged to lead "an effort to get every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate targets," as well as fully integrate climate change into U.S. foreign policy and national security strategies.

  • This includes bringing together "the leaders of major economies for a climate summit within my first 100 days in office," Biden said last month.

Go deeper... Biden's Day 1 challenges: Climate change

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

Biden picks Rob Malley as envoy for Iran

Malley (L) during Iran deal negotiations in Vienna, 2015. Photo: Siamek Ebrahimi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Image

Rob Malley will serve as the Biden administration's special envoy for Iran, working out of the State Department, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Malley, a former Middle East adviser to Barack Obama, took part in the negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal and is a strong supporter of a U.S. return to the agreement. Reports of his likely selection led to sharp criticism from opponents of the deal like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), while former colleagues from the Obama administration rallied to Malley's defense.

49 mins ago - World

One-year anniversary of Beirut blast marked by grief, anger

White roses are seen on portraits of victims of last year's Beirut port blast in the Lebanese capital, as Lebanon marks on August 4, 2021. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP via Getty Images

Fluctuating between feelings of sadness, grief and anger, Beirut residents on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the port explosion that killed more than 200 people and injured thousands of others.

The big picture: No senior official has been held accountable for the blast, which was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years, per Reuters.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
59 mins ago - Sports

The NCAA's summer of change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The college sports landscape has changed more this summer than at any other point in history, as the NCAA grapples with new rules and shifting power dynamics.

The state of play: When NCAA competition resumes this fall, everyone involved — from student-athletes and coaches, to universities and fans — will be entering a new world.