US begins formal withdrawal from Paris climate accord
The Trump administration announced Monday that it will begin formally withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord, the first step in a year-long process to leave the landmark agreement to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases.
“Today the United States began the process to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “Per the terms of the Agreement, the United States submitted formal notification of its withdrawal to the United Nations. The withdrawal will take effect one year from delivery of the notification.”
After President Donald Trump said in 2017 that he intended to pull the US out of the agreement, the latest move is a procedural step that would lead to a complete withdrawal just after the 2020 presidential election. From replacing the Clean Power Plan to attempting to loosen fuel economy standards, it is another push from an administration that has made rolling back environmental regulations a top priority.
It also sends a powerful message to the rest of the world: That as the damaging impacts of climate change become more apparent, the US — which according to a recent analysis has contributed more to global warming than any other country — will not be a part of the international charge to solve the crisis.
The pullout follows acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s announcement that climate change will not be on the agenda at next year’s G7 summit — which the US is hosting — and Trump’s absence from the conversation at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September, where countries and businesses gathered to announce their plans to reduce emissions.
Critics of the withdrawal say that the US leaving an agreement it helped negotiate will harm the country’s standing internationally.