The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under the Trump administration, withdrew from the landmark treaty to curb global warming but President Joseph Biden reversed the decision when he assumed office in January. “For the past four years, the absence of a key player created a gap in the Paris Agreement; a missing link that weakened the whole”, Guterres said. “So today, as we mark the United States re-entry into this treaty, we also recognize its restoration, in its entirety, as its creators intended”. Describing the occasion as “a day of hope”, the secretary-general said he was particularly pleased to be commemorating the event with John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. The secretary-general stressed that the world must act now, and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic must include investing in a “green economy” to heal the planet and generate jobs. Achieving this transformative change calls for phasing out coal, halting investment in fossil fuels, shifting taxation to polluters, and supporting countries suffering climate impacts. “The Paris Agreement is our pact with our descendants and the whole human family. This is the race of our lifetimes. We must go much faster, and much farther”, the secretary general said. “It is within our power to build a future of renewable energy and green infrastructure that protects people and planet and ensures prosperity for all. Let’s get to work”.