The US State Department has issued its first written notification of the United States’ intention to leave the Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so, to the UN.
However, President Trump, who first announced the United States’ intention to withdraw on June 1, “is open to reengaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favourable to it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers,” the US State Department said in a statement.
This announcement is being viewed as symbolic, as countries cannot officially announce their intention to withdraw from the agreement until 4 November 2019.
It then takes another year for the process to become complete, which means the US would not be able to withdraw until during the 2020 Presidential Election.
The new President could decide to re-join the agreement after the election.
The Paris Agreement aims to reduce the effects of Climate Change by limiting the global rise of temperature caused by emissions.
The only two nations that did not sign up are Syria and Nicaragua.
On June 1, Trump indicated he would be interested in entering into “a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States.”
However, that is unlikely as the Paris Agreement took decades to finalise.
The US State Department said they will still work to reduce climate change, despite their intentions to withdraw from the agreement.
“The United States supports a balanced approach to climate policy that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and ensuring energy security,” they said in a statement.
“We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in many nationally determined contributions.
“The United States will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations and meetings, including the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to protect U.S. interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration. Such participation will include ongoing negotiations related to guidance for implementing the Paris Agreement.”
The agreement came into effect in November 2016, and under the agreement countries can set their own national plans for cutting carbo emissions.