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.
The US has issued the first written notification that it intends to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
However, in the notice to the UN, the US State Department said Washington would remain in the talks process.
President Donald Trump drew international condemnation in June when he first announced the US intention to withdraw.
Donald Trump said the deal “punished” the US and would cost millions of American jobs.
August 4 announcement is seen as largely symbolic as no nation seeking to leave the pact can officially announce an intention to withdraw until November 4, 2019.
The process of leaving then takes another year, meaning it would not be complete until just weeks after the US presidential election in 2020.
Any new US president could then decide to rejoin the agreement.
Image source Wikipedia
The US statement read: “Today, the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations in its capacity as depositary for the Paris Agreement regarding the US intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so.
“The United States will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations and meetings… to protect US interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.”