The US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change despite international condemnation, US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday.
'In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord," Trump said at the White House.
"As of today, the US will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.
"This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and very importantly the Green Climate Fund which is costing the US a vast fortune."
Trump said he was willing to reenter negotiations or to negotiate a new agreement that is more advantageous to America.
"We will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal thatâ€™s fair. And if we can, that's great, and if we can't, that's fine.
In the past few days, scores of world leaders and international organizations implored Trump not to drop out of the historic agreement. Political leaders from the European Union, China, fellow G7 member states, as well as the heads of investment firms with trillions of dollars in assets, more than 1,000 US companies including coal and oil producers, and even the Pope had all lobbied Trump to stick to the agreement.
But Trump said that after consultations with people on both sides of the debate, he would withdraw.
What is the Paris deal?
Almost 200 countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, with China and the US - respectively, the world's No. 1 and 2 emitters - proving crucial to negotiations. The pact tries to limit global warming to an increase of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) by 2030, compared with pre-industrial temperatures.
Syria and Nicaragua were the world's only non-participants in the landmark accord, although Nicaragua did not participate as it thought it did not go far enough to address climate change.
Throughout Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, he argued against the deal, saying China had created a climate change "hoax" to hurt the US economically. After taking office in January, Trump immediately began gutting predecessor Barack Obama's environmental policies, saying he would prefer to reverse decades of decline in coal mining.
Almost every other industrialized economy in the world is moving in the opposite direction.