The US has notified the UN of its intention to leave the Paris Climate Change Agreement, as other countries express regret and disappointment at the move.
The notification begins a one-year process of exiting the global climate change accord, culminating the day after the 2020 US election.
According to the US government, the climate change deal puts an “unfair economic burden” on Americans.
The Paris Agreement brought together 188 nations to combat climate change.
There has been widespread international condemnation of the US move.
The accord, agreed in 2015, committed the US and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures below 2C above pre-industrial levels and attempting to limit them even more, to a 1.5C rise.
The withdrawal decision – taken by President Donald Trump after he came to office in 2017 – made the US the world’s sole non-signatory and prompted high-level efforts by the EU to keep the agreement on track.
However, hundreds of local governments, businesses and organizations in the US have joined the We Are Still In movement, pledging to cut emissions and move to renewable energy.
The US issued its formal notification on the first day it was possible to do so.
President Trump had made withdrawing from the agreement one of his election campaign pledges but UN rules had meant it was not possible for the US to start the withdrawal process until November 4, 2019.
The withdrawal is still subject to the outcome of next year’s presidential election – if Donald Trump loses, the winner may decide to change course.