'behind the eight ball'
President Biden is offering an apology to world leaders over former President Donald Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord.
Biden at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland on Monday said he "shouldn't apologize, but I do apologize" for the fact that the Trump administration pulled out of the Paris accord and "put us sort of behind the eight ball a little bit," The Associated Press reports.
After taking office in January, Biden quickly rejoined the Paris climate accord after Trump withdrew the U.S. from this agreement to reduce carbon emissions. Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the accord in 2019, though the withdrawal didn't take effect until November 2020. After the U.S. officially rejoined the agreement earlier this year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken described it as an "unprecedented framework for global action."
During his speech at the climate conference, Biden promised world leaders his administration is "working overtime to show that our climate commitment is action, not words" and is "back at the table," acknowledging this "hasn't been the case." He also told the world leaders that the American people "four or five years ago" weren't "at all sure about climate change" and "whether it was real," Axios reports. But, he added, "They have, as they say in southern parts of my state, seen the lord."