Notification has little affect, meaning, with no legal weight
The Trump administration on Friday issued its first written notification to the United Nations it intends to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
"Today, the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations, in its capacity as depositary for the Paris Agreement, regarding the U.S. intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so," according to the State Department.
The notification came a month after President Donald Trump announced he was pulling America from the international agreement, saying the deal, "punished" the U.S. and would cost millions of jobs.
"We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly," according to the statement.
The agency said the U.S. would also continue to participate in international meetings and negotiations on current and future climate change deals to protect the country's interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.
While the U.S. intends to withdraw, it legally cannot withdraw until 2020, under the terms of the Paris deal. The next president, could decide to rejoin the agreement if Trump fails to win a second term.
The UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in June, estimated a U.S. withdrawal could increase global temperatures by 0.3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
The Paris Agreement, spearheaded by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, and signed by 195 countries in April 2016, aims to fight climate change by reducing carbon emissions and limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius. Syria and Nicaragua are the only countries that have not signed the agreement.
During his election campaign, Trump called global warming, "a hoax" and promised to scrap the agreement. He promised to return jobs to the coal industry, often an easy target for environmentalists.