WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has officially informed the United Nations it will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement in a document issued on Friday, but left the door open to re-engaging if the terms improved for the United States.
The State Department said in a press release the United States would continue to participate in United Nations climate change meetings during the withdrawal process, which is expected to take at least three years.
“The United States supports a balanced approach to climate policy that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and ensuring energy security,” the department said in the release.
President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris deal in June, saying the accord would have cost America trillions of dollars, killed jobs, and hindered the oil, gas, coal and manufacturing industries.
But he also, at the time, said he would be open to renegotiating the deal, which was agreed by nearly 200 nations over the course of years – drawing ridicule from world and business leaders who said that would be impossible.
During a visit last month to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, the two discussed the deal and Trump told reporters “Something could happen with respect to the Paris accords, let’s see what happens.”