U.S. Paris Accord Retreat On One-Year Clock

The Trump administration has initiated formal steps to disengage the United States from the 2015 Paris accords on climate change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a statement posted on Twitter.

President TrumpThe announcement was made on Monday, the third anniversary of the accord taking effect. To date, the accord has been ratified by 187 of the 197 countries that signed onto the agreement. The United States did not ratify its signature on the agreement, as President Barack Obama accepted the country’s engagement with the agreement by executive order.

However, President Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, declared the agreement to be unfair to American workers. The United States, as the largest economy, would have to be a leader in climate change initiatives, while developing countries, including China and India, would not be obligated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Pompeo said the United States was leading the way towards harnessing climate change regardless of the president’s belief or the country’s withdrawal from the agreement. “The U.S. approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technology cleanly and efficiently, including fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy,” he said. He also claimed the United states had reduced “emissions of criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment” by 74 percent from 1970 to 2018. The country also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent from 2005 to 2017, he said, a period in which, he said, the economy grew “over 19 percent.”

The U.S. petition to withdraw from the agreement sets the clock for one year before the withdrawal is complete. That puts the formal withdrawal from the agreement one day after the 2020 election, many media outlets are pointing out. As such, the withdrawal initiative could be undermined by the outcome of the election.

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