President Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The move, which fulfils one of his earliest and most controversial campaign promises, sets the US at odds with the 194 other nations which remain in the landmark deal to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions.
Announcing his reasons for the decision Mr Trump said: “Exiting the Paris accord protects us from a deal that would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers and put us at a permanent disadvantage against other countries of the world.
“It’s time to exit the Paris Accord. It’s time to pursue a new deal. It’s time to make America great again.”
The Paris Agreement, which aims to ensure average global temperature does not rise by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, joins a number of other statutes originally installed by Barack Obama that have now been rescinded by the current president.
The move goes against pleas and advice to remain in the agreement from world leaders, CEOs and even the Pope.
As the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, many believe the US is central to efforts to addressing global warming.
The US cannot withdraw from the accord immediately – under its terms, the Trump administration must wait until November 2019 to formally submit the bid to quit, before waiting another year before finally leaving.
Mr Trump added:”In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate accord but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris Accord or an entirely new transaction, with terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh not Paris”
He added the Paris Climate accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries. He also warned he’d pull out of further trade deals if he thinks they don’t work for America.
The president outlined his reasons for the decision saying it would hamper the US exploiting energy sources such as clean coal while allowing nations like India and China to continue using coal for decades to come, would cost American jobs and sign the nation up to the Green Climate Fund, costing billions that could better be used to fight terrorism.
He concluded his America would have more environmental protection and be cleaner and greener outside of the current deal which puts his nation at a disadvantage but does nothing for the climate.