Joe Biden begins presidency with 15 executive orders, reversing Trump policies
A number of the orders reverse Trump policy decisions
Joe Biden began his presidency on Wednesday by signing a number of executive orders on a host of issues, including Covid-19, the environment, immigration and ethics.
In his initial acts as the 46th US president, he signed no less than 15 executive orders - the first of which were targeted to boost the federal response to the coronavirus crisis.
Other orders included keeping the US in the World Health Organisation, strengthen the US fight against Covid-19, an ending of the ban on entries to the US from mostly Muslim-majority countries and some reversing the Trump administrations stance on climate change.
One of those in the fight against Covid-19 was an order to mandate mask wearing and social distancing in federal buildings and lands, while also creating a new position called a Covid-19 response coordinator.
As promised, Biden said the US would be returning to the 2016 Paris agreement, which was signed by most nations in 2016 in an attempt to limit global warming.
The move was met warmly by world leaders with French president Emmanuel Macron tweeting: "I welcome the return of the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement: Welcome back!"
In a statement on Wednesday detailing the executive orders, it said President Biden "will take action - not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration - but also to start moving our country forward".
Another move was to revoke the presidential permit granted to the contentious Keystone XL oil pipeline which, if completed, would carry over 800,000 barrels of heavy crude each day from the oil sands of Alberta, in Canada, to Nebraska.
"We are going to combat climate change in a way we have not done so far," Biden said in the Oval Office.
In total, Biden signed 17 executive actions on his first day in office – 15 of which were executive orders.