WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The US State Department has officially
informed the United Nations it will withdraw from the Paris
Climate Agreement in a document issued on Friday, but left the
door open to re-engaging if the terms improved for the United
The State Department said in a press release the United States
would continue to participate in United Nations climate change
meetings during the withdrawal process, which is expected to take
at least three years.
“The United States supports a balanced approach to climate policy
that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and
ensuring energy security,” the department said in the
President Donald Trump announced his
decision to withdraw from the Paris deal in June, saying the
accord would have cost America trillions of dollars, killed jobs,
and hindered the oil, gas, coal and manufacturing industries.
But he also, at the time, said he would be open to renegotiating
the deal, which was agreed by nearly 200 nations over the course
of years — drawing ridicule from world and business leaders who
said that would be impossible.
During a visit last month to Paris to meet French President
Emmanuel Macron, the two discussed the deal
and Trump told reporters “Something could
happen with respect to the Paris accords, let’s see what
“As the President indicated in his June 1 announcement and
subsequently, he is open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if
the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to
it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers,”
the State Department said in its press release about the formal
notice of withdrawal.
Republican U.S. congressional leaders have
backed Trump‘s move to exit the accord. Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for example, said it was
“another significant blow to the Obama administration’s assault
on domestic energy production and jobs”.
But numerous business leaders have called the move a blow to
international efforts to combat climate change, and a missed
opportunity to capture growth in the emerging clean energy
The United States, under former President Barack Obama, had
pledged as part of the Paris accord to cut U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions by as much as 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 to
help slow global warming.
The earliest date for the United States to completely withdraw
from the agreement is Nov. 4, 2020, around the time of the next
U.S. presidential election.
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