NEW YORK CITY – The Trump administration notified the United Nations Friday of its intention to leave the Paris climate accord, the latest in a series of formal steps the administration needs to take to leave the agreement in 2020.
President Trump announced in June his intention to fulfill a campaign promise to leave the agreement that was signed by President Obama, and which supporters hailed as a vital landmark in the fight against climate change. Trump and many conservatives saw the deal as one that placed a disproportionate burden on America’s economy and business and called for the U.S. to be withdrawn.
The State Department announced Friday that it had formally notified the U.N. of its intention to leave.
“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,” a statement said.
The State Department said the U.S. supports “ a balanced approach to climate policy that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and ensuring energy security.” It also indicated that it will participate in upcoming climate talks as a way to protect U.S. interests and ensure “all future policy options remain open to the administration.”
While the notification of intent does nothing in and of itself, it is the first in a number of steps the U.S. must take to formally leave the agreement.
A spokesman for Secretary-General António Guterres confirmed receipt of the communication and noted that by the terms of the agreement, the U.S. can formally apply to leave three years after the agreement went into force – meaning the U.S. can apply to leave on Nov. 4, 2019, and the process takes a year. This means the U.S. won’t be out of the agreement until late 2020.
The spokesman recalled Guterrres’ statement in June in which he called the decision to leave “a major disappointment” and called on the U.S. to remain a leader on “climate and sustainable development.”
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY