Trump administration begins Paris climate pact exit

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to New York, November 2, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Trump administration said on Monday it filed paperwork to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change.

The move is part of a broader strategy by President Donald Trump to reduce red tape on American industry, but comes at a time scientists and many world governments urge rapid action to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. 

Once it exits, the United States – the top historic greenhouse gas emitter and leading oil and gas producer – will become the only country outside the accord.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the step in a Twitter post on Monday and pointed out that the United States had trimmed its emissions in recent years even as it had grown its energy production.

“The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens,” he said.

An official from the French presidential office accompanying President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to China, said: “We regret this and this only makes the Franco-Chinese partnership on the climate and biodiversity more necessary.” 

Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign a pact on Wednesday that includes a paragraph on the “irreversibility of the Paris Agreement,” the official said.

The State Department’s letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres starts the clock on a process that will be complete one day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.