The Trump administration will reportedly release its first written notice of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. The notice will only be symbolic because the U.S. cannot formally announce its withdrawal until 2019.
On Aug. 4, two anonymous sources disclosed that the Trump administration would release a written notice of its intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement. The missive would be released later that day, according to Politico.
The alleged notice would be delivered from the State Department to the United Nations (UN). The notice would not carry any legal weight. When the Obama administration signed onto the Paris Accord in 2015, the deal was structured so that any formal notice of withdrawal could not be submitted to the UN until 2019.
The Paris Climate Accord is an international agreement between nearly 200 nations to reduce their carbon emissions to help curb the impact of climate change. On June 1, Trump announced that he would withdraw the U.S. from the historic pact, asserting that it would harm economic growth.
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"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," Trump stated from the White House Rose Garden, according to The New York Times.
"It would once have been unthinkable that an international agreement could prevent the United States from conducting its own domestic affairs. ... At what point does America get demeaned," Trump continued. "We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore."
The U.S. joined Nicaragua and Syria as the only UN members to not participate in the Paris Accord. Nicaragua had refused to join the agreement because it thought that its emission reduction targets did not go far enough to combat climate change, The Guardian reports.
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Trump's decision generated immense controversy and immediately prompted Tesla CEO Elon Musk to resign from the president's business council. Former Secretary of State John Kerry was among the fiercest critics of the withdrawal.
"This is one of the most cynical and frankly ignorant and dangerous, self-destructive steps that I've seen in my entire lifetime in public life," Kerry told CNN.
On June 5, a Washington Post-ABC News survey found that 59 percent of national adults disapproved of Trump's withdrawal from the Paris accord while 28 percent supported his decision, The Washington Post reports.
The U.S. cannot formally withdraw from the Paris accord until Nov. 4, 2020. That date will be one day before the 2020 presidential election, meaning that Trump's decision could be reversed if he is defeated by a candidate who endorses the accord.