The United States has taken the first step to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement after President Donald Trump announced the nation would no longer participate more than two years ago.
The U.S. submitted a notice of withdrawal to the United Nations Monday afternoon, according to the Associated Press. The Paris Agreement is an initiative led by members of the U.N. to take concerted action against climate change, helping those nations affected most by rising global temperature, curbing emissions and keeping the global temperature rise below 2° Celcius.
“The U.S. should be leading the world in the fight against climate change, not shrinking from a renewable future that brings massive economic growth,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy. “Despite today’s announcement, the reality is that a vast majority of American citizens from across the political spectrum understand the need to chart a more sustainable future. With active support from many of the country’s leading businesses, America’s booming renewable energy sector is committed to giving them the clean energy economy they want and deserve, and keeping the U.S. within striking distance of Paris targets for reduced greenhouse emissions.”
The U.S. was one of about 200 nations that signed the agreement when it was drafted in 2016 and is the first to withdraw. The withdrawal is not official until a year after the notice was given.