World leaders cheer US return to climate fight under Biden

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. audible / ˈɔ də bəl / (adj) – loud enough to be heard 

    Shayne’s voice was barely audible, so the teacher asked her to speak louder.

  2. predecessor / ˈprɛd əˌsɛs ər / (n) – someone or something that comes before another person or thing

    The new secretary is having trouble because her predecessor hadn’t organized anything before he quit.

  3. shun / ʃʌn / (v) – to avoid or keep away from someone or something

    The celebrity has shunned interviews ever since she retired from acting.

  4. pact / pækt / (n) – a formal agreement between two people, organizations, countries, etc.

    The two countries signed a peace pact to stop the war.

  5. in step with (someone/something) / in stɛp wɪθ / (idiom) – moving or acting at the same speed or level as someone or something else

    Some people say that product prices will rise in step with an increase in minimum wage.


Read the text below.

World leaders breathed an audible sigh of relief that the United States under President Joe Biden is rejoining the global effort to curb climate change, a cause that his predecessor had shunned over the past four years.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron were among those welcoming Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord, reversing a key Trump policy in the first hours of his presidency Jan. 20.

The Paris accord, forged in the French capital in 2015, commits countries to put forward plans for reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which is released from burning fossil fuels.

As president, Donald Trump questioned the scientific warnings about man-made global warming and the U.S. formally left the pact in November.

Biden put the fight against climate change at the center of his presidential campaign and immediately launched a series of climate-friendly efforts to bring Washington back in step with the rest of the world on the issue.

“A cry for survival comes from the planet itself,” Biden said in his inaugural address. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.” (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The US joined the Paris accord, then left it, and is now rejoining it. Do you think it’ll be easy for other countries to trust the US on this and other issues? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that the US will continue to be viewed as a world leader, or will another country take its place? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you agree that man-made global warming is an urgent issue? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Many people say that there’s a battle between the economy and the environment. Do you agree that becoming more eco-friendly will have a negative economic effect, or do you think it could actually benefit the economy? Why? Discuss.