United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today received a notification from the delegation of the United States expressing the country's intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change as soon as it is eligible to do so, his spokesman has confirmed.
The notification came two months after President Donald Trump announced his intention to leave the accord.
"As the Secretary-General said in a statement on 1 June 2017, the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is a major disappointment for global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote global security," said UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric in a note sent tonight to correspondents.
Under article 28 of the Paris Agreement, a Party may withdraw at any time after three years from the date on which the Agreement has entered into force for that Party, and such withdrawal takes effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal. The United States accepted the Paris Agreement on 3 September 2016 and the Agreement entered into force for the United States on 4 November 2016.This means that the US must stay in the pact until at least 2019.
The communication says the US intends to exercise its right to withdraw, unless it identifies suitable terms for reengagement.
The Secretary General welcomes any effort to reengage in the Paris Agreement by the United States, Mr. Dujarric said.
"It is crucial that the United States remains a leader on climate and sustainable development. Climate change is impacting now. He looks forward to engaging with the American government and all other actors in the United States and around the world to build the sustainable future for our children and future generations," he added.
The Spokesman said that the Secretary-General is the depositary of the Agreement, and will circulate the text of this communication as a notification, in English and French, early next week.