The State Department is expected to issue a formal notice Friday that it will pull the U.S. from the Paris climate change deal, according to a report.
The U.S. delegation to the United Nations will then inform the international body of its decision. The written notice is the first official statement from the Trump administration about the climate agreement, Politico reported. But as the U.S. can't formally withdraw until 2020 and can't officially notify the U.N. about its plans until 2019, the Friday notice will be only symbolic.
Trump promised during his campaign to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement. About 200 countries agreed to the environmental controls outlined in the deal. Trump announced in June his plan to drop out, joining Venezuela and Syria as the only countries not included in the deal.
However, it takes four years to withdraw from the United Nations climate agreement. So, the U.S. won't complete the withdrawal process until Nov. 4, 2020, which is days before Trump attempts re-election. If Trump does not pursue a second term or loses the election, his successor could choose to restart the agreement.
Initial reports on the withdrawal notice did not say whether it will address Trump's stated goal of renegotiating the terms of the climate change deal, although he has said he is fine if it's not possible to negotiate new terms.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. Trump in announcing his intention to withdraw from the deal said he was open to discussing a new climate deal with Democrats.
"So if the obstructionists want to get together with me, let's make them non-obstructionists," Trump said to applause in June. "We will all sit down, and we will get back into the deal."
Trump said the Democrats' opinions on Trump's renegotiation strategy will have to coincide with what he considers a fair deal under any climate agreement. He views the climate agreement to be anathema to his pro-growth America First agenda, citing an industry -study that showed the economy would lose $3 trillion in GDP and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040.
"I'm willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers," Trump said.
Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York did not appear too open to the idea, calling the notion of renegotiating the deal a "fig leaf" and vowing to do everything in his power to prevent Trump from undoing the U.S.'s commitment to the deal.
More recently, Trump discussed the Paris agreement with French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron. "Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We'll see what happens," Trump said during a joint press conference with Macron in Paris last month. "But we'll talk about that in the coming period of time. If it happens, that will be wonderful. If it doesn't, that's OK, too."
More recent reports indicate that Trump wants to use the Paris Agreement's Green Climate Fund to boost development of "clean coal" power plants. The U.S. contributed $1 billion to the fund under the Obama administration.
A Trump administration official told Bloomberg that the White House is developing a strategy to begin using the green fund to construct more coal power plants in other countries.
States, local governments and others continue have been pushing back against Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement. Former California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger started an initiative Friday to help states and governments enact their own climate policies in response to President Trump's planned withdrawal.
The effort is through a website called envirolaws.org, which is a cooperative effort between the Schwarzenegger Institute at the University of Southern California and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. It is a searchable database of environmental bills and laws.
The Schwarzenegger effort adds to the pushback by state and local governments to commit to the goals of the Paris Agreement as Trump seeks to withdraw from it. The effort has coalesced in the "We Are Still In" movement in which mayors, governors, college and university leaders, businesses, and investors joined together "to declare that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement," according to an open letter.