- "The US is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens."
- Trump said he would negotiate a possible return to the climate deal on terms “fairer to the US.”
- The United States will join Nicaragua and Syria as the only two countries that have not signed their Paris commitments.
The US government has begun the formal process to remove the country from the Paris Agreement, the largest pact ever drawn up to address the climate crisis and establishing a global action plan to limit global warming.
“Today, we begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The US is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens. Ours is a realistic and pragmatic model.” The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
The notification is the first formal step in a one-year process for the country to abandon the global climate change pact. US President Donald Trump made an announcement on June 1, 2017, that the United States would withdraw from the resolution against the climate crisis, fulfilling a campaign promise. The request had not been formalized due to contractual issues of the agreement itself.
At the time of the announcement of the exit, Trump said he would negotiate a possible return to the climate deal on terms “fairer to the US.” He told journalists at the White House, “in order to fulfil my solemn duty to the United States and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accords or a really entirely new transaction, on terms that are fair to the United States.”
More than 190 countries attended the UN conference in the French capital in 2015. After intense discussions, an agreement was reached that established to limit warming below 2 C and strive to keep temperatures at 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels – a far more ambitious target than expected, and a major demand of vulnerable countries.
The signatory countries agreed to reach “a peak in greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible,” and “then initiate rapid reductions to strike a balance between emissions” from human activities and those “absorbed by carbon sinks.” Once the withdrawal process is complete, the United States will join Nicaragua and Syria, the only two countries that have not signed their Paris commitments.
John Kerry, who was the US Secretary of State when the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, wrote an opinion article in The Washington Post in which he described the formal withdrawal of the pact as “a dark day for the US.” Kerry, and former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote, “on Monday, President Trump took the step he promised in 2017 to officially withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change, which every other country on Earth has signed. This is not America first; once again, it’s America isolated.”