US Formally Withdraws From Paris Climate Agreement

The United States has officially informed the United Nations that it intends to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, but it left open the possibility of re-engaging if terms of the deal become more favorable.

The State Department said Friday that it would continue to participate in international climate change negotiations during the withdrawal process, which is expected to take at least three years.

It said in a statement that U.S. participation in the negotiations would “protect U.S. interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.”

“The United States supports a balanced approach to climate policy that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and ensuring energy security,” it said.

The department said President Donald Trump was “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.”

‘Very unfair’

Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the climate accord in June, saying the deal was “very unfair at the highest level to the American people.” He argued the deal would have cost trillions of dollars as well as hurt American businesses and jobs in the energy and manufacturing sectors.

News of the decision was greeted with strong protests from the environmental community, and the mayors of some of the largest U.S. cities vowed to remain faithful to the accord, regardless of what the Trump administration did.

The United States agreed to the 2015 climate agreement under former President Barack Obama. Under the deal, the United States pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

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