The Trump administration has officially informed the United Nations the U.S. intends to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate change accord.
The U.S. State Department released a statement indicating the nation's plans to pull out of the Paris agreement as soon as they are eligible to do so.
However the statement revealed Washington will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations, indicating U.S President Donald Trump is "open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers".
The formal notification comes after Trump announced the U.S. would leave the climate change agreement in June, drawing international controversy.
— Department of State (@StateDept) August 4, 2017
Under the terms of the agreement, the earliest the United States can officially withdraw from the climate accord is 2020, meaning the withdrawal process will lead up to the next United States presidential election.
Despite intending to leave the agreement, the statement to the UN revealed the U.S plans to continue supporting climate change policy.
"The United States supports a balanced approach to climate policy that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and ensuring energy security."
"We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently."
Trump's decision to leave the climate change agreement in June invited international reaction, with both former U.S. President Barak Obama and Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hilary Clinton condemning the decision.
A historic mistake. The world is moving forward together on climate change. Paris withdrawal leaves American workers & families behind.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 1, 2017
The Paris climate change agreement, which came into effect in late 2016 is an international environmental agreement that aims to keep global temperatures below the level of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), limit greenhouse gas emissions from human activity to the same levels as the environment can absorb naturally, review international contribution to cutting emissions every five years and allow developed nations to assist developing countries transition to renewable energy.