United States President Donald Trump has followed through on a campaign pledge and announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Deal.Trump announced a source briefed on the decision told Reuters on Wednesday that Trump would pull the U.S. out of the global pact to fight climate change, a move expected to rally his support base at home while deepening a rift with U.S. allies.
Trump had refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday, saying he needed more time to decide. He then tweeted that he would make an announcement this week.
The decision puts the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world’s only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement.
It could have sweeping implications for the deal, which relies heavily on the commitment of big polluter nations to reduce emissions of gases scientists blame for sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.
The accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Axios news outlet, which first reported the withdrawal, had said details of the pullout were being worked out by a team that includes EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
The choice is between a formal withdrawal that could take three years or leaving the U.N. treaty that the accord is based on, which would be quicker but more extreme, according to the Axios report.
The decision to withdraw from the climate accord was influenced by a letter from 22 Republican U.S. senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling for an exit, Axios reported.
Former President Barack Obama, who helped broker the accord, praised the deal during a trip to Europe this month.
The United States is the world’s second-biggest carbon dioxide emitter behind China.
Supporters of the climate pact are concerned that a U.S. exit could lead other nations to weaken their commitments or also withdraw, softening an accord that scientists have said is critical to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
Canada, the European Union, and China have said they will honor their commitments to the pact even if the United States withdraws. A source told Reuters that India had also indicated it would stick by the deal.