Trump administration begins formal US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement

As reported by MSN

The Trump administration gave official notice Monday that it will pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, a long anticipated move and a significant step in America’s retreat as an environmental leader.

Despite the president’s repeated claims to have already left the agreement, the U.S. is still very much a part of it. Under the terms of the accord, the formal withdrawal process will take another year to complete, such that the earliest the administration can officially exit the agreement is Nov. 4, 2020 — the day after the next presidential election.

The decision to abandon the agreement makes good on a campaign promise and is in keeping with the president’s belief that climate change is a hoax. It has been widely expected since June 1, 2017, when Trump announced his intention to withdraw, criticizing the accord as “simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries.”

In a statement released Monday, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said the president decided to withdraw from the agreement because of the “unfair economic burden” it imposed, but that the U.S. would continue to work with other countries to reduce emissions and “enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

“The U.S. approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils (sic) fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy,” Pompeo said.

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Democrats in Congress panned the move. New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement calling it “one of the worst examples of President Trump’s willful abdication of U.S. leadership.”

“By charging forth with this withdrawal, the Trump administration has once again thumbed its nose at our allies, turned a blind eye to the facts and further politicized the world’s greatest environmental challenge,” he said.

The yearlong legal process required to leave the agreement means that whether the U.S. ultimately abandons its commitment depends on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.