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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday designed to put more weight behind the administration's role in the international One Trillion Trees Initiative, a White House official said.

Why it matters: White House support for the initiative contrasts with Trump's overall climate posture.

  • He rejects consensus science on human-induced warming and is scuttling Obama-era emissions rules.
  • Supporting trees, however, has been one narrow way Trump and other Republicans have cautiously backed action.

The state of play: It creates an interagency council tasked with "developing, coordinating, and promoting" U.S. work on tree growth and conservation.

  • It includes creating a methodology to track the efforts, and addressing "potential statutory and regulatory limitations."
  • It's led by the secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture and contains 12 other agencies, as well as Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and other White House officials.

What they're saying: "Through today’s executive order, and on the heels of the Great American Outdoors Act signed into law by the President just two months ago, we continue to prioritize forest conservation in America and around the world. I am proud to serve on the Trillion Trees Interagency Council as we advance solutions to promote healthy and resilient forests for future generations," Ivanka Trump told Axios.

Catch up fast: In January Trump announced U.S. participation in the initiative launched at the World Economic Forum early this year.

  • The global push to plant or conserve a trillion trees by 2030 is about climate but also biodiversity and other ecological needs.

The intrigue: White House information on the order briefly notes trees' role in removing CO2, but doesn't mention climate change or warming.

  • It's touting the need for healthy forests that protect watersheds and also promoting national forests' role in the tourism economy.
  • The order's text wasn't yet available this morning.

Between the lines: Joe Biden has been attacking Trump's environmental positions. The order could be aimed at softening Trump's image.

Reality check: Keeping warming in check will require vastly more than forest growth and protection, though it's one important tool.

  • Trees are no substitute for steeply cutting emissions from the very fossil fuels Trump aggressively promotes.

Go deeper

On Day One, Biden will move to rejoin Paris Climate Agreement

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.

Updated Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.