The Trump administration said on Monday it filed paperwork to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change, APA reports citing Reuters.
The move is part of a broader strategy by President Donald Trump to reduce red tape on American industry, but comes at a time scientists and many world governments urge rapid action to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
Once it exits, the United States - the top historic greenhouse gas emitter and leading oil and gas producer - will become the only country outside the accord.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the step on Monday and pointed out that the United States had trimmed emissions here in recent years even as it had grown its energy production.
“The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens,” he said.
The European Union expressed disappointment.
“The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement means that the rest of us must further increase our cooperation,” Krista Mikkonen, minister of environment for current European Council president Finland said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We will continue to work with US states, cities and civil society in support of climate action.”
An official from the French presidential office accompanying President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to China, said: “We regret this and this only makes the Franco-Chinese partnership on the climate and biodiversity more necessary.”
Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign a pact on Wednesday that includes a paragraph on the “irreversibility of the Paris Agreement,” the official said.