US formally starts withdrawal from climate accord
The United States on Monday formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, making the world’s largest economy the sole outlier from the agreement. President Donald Trump went ahead with the pullout despite mounting evidence of the reality and impact of climate change, with September the fourth month in the row with near- or record-breaking temperatures.
The United States presented its withdrawal letter to the United Nations on the first possible date under the accord negotiated by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. It will be officially out of the Paris accord on November 4, 2020, one day after the US election in which Trump is seeking a second term.
Announcing the move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated Trump’s remarks in 2017 that the agreement imposed an “unfair economic burden” on the United States. “The US approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy,” Pompeo said in a statement.
The United States is still planning to attend this month’s COP climate negotiations in Spain, according to a State Department official. Pledging to pursue a “realistic and pragmatic model,” Pompeo pointed to a 13 percent US reduction of greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change from 2005 to 2017 even as the economy grew.