by Andrew Restuccia
Politico news story
The Trump administration will release a notice today outlining the United States’ intention to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement, two sources familiar with the issue said.
The notice, which will be released by the State Department and transmitted by the U.S. delegation to the United Nations, will be the first written notice that the administration plans to pull out of the 2015 pact, which has won the support of nearly 200 nations.
Trump announced in June that the U.S. will leave the agreement.
Under the terms of the Paris deal, the U.S. can’t fully withdraw until Nov. 4, 2020 — one day after the next presidential election. The next president could decide to rejoin the agreement if Trump doesn’t win a second term.
In addition, the U.S. can’t even formally notify the United Nations that it is withdrawing until 2019. As a result, today’s notice will largely be a symbolic statement with no legal weight. And the sources said the statement likely will leave some room for the administration to remain in the deal.
International diplomats are still holding out hope that Trump might change his mind, or reach some kind of compromise that would allow the United States to stay in.
In the June speech in which Trump announced he would pull out, the president held out the possibility that the U.S. would “begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States.”
Other countries have said they will not negotiate a totally new climate deal, as the Paris agreement was the product of decades of laborious talks. But they believe the U.S. might opt to stay in if Trump publicly abandons former President Barack Obama’s domestic emissions reduction commitment.
It remains unclear what the Trump administration’s next steps might be.
A White House spokeswoman declined to comment, and a State Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.