President Donald Trump confirmed a plan for the US to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, less than two weeks before the deadline in which his administration can begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Treaty.

Speaking at the 9th annual conference of oil and gas industry participants Shale Insight in Pittsburgh, Trump called for an increase in natural gas and oil production in the United States. Also he spoke about his efforts to reduce the requirements for the energy industry and about his administration’s plans to withdraw the United States from the international climate agreement signed in 2015.

“The Paris agreement would lead to the closure of American production due to excessive regulatory restrictions, which are impossible to believe while allowing foreign producers to pollute the environment with impunity,” said the President, during his speech, which was attended by dozens of oil workers.

“What we will not do is punish the American people by enriching foreign air pollutants. I’m proud to say: it’s called “America first,” Trump said.
Opponents of leaving the agreement believe that this step will damage the global leadership of the United States in the transition to a “clean” economy, which actively uses wind and solar energy, modern batteries, and energy conservation.

“Instead of showing strength, this move weakens America on the world stage…”leadership on climate change and other issues of our time are shifting to countries like Russia and China,” Nira Tanden, President of the liberal think Tank American progress, told in an interview.

Donald Trump often claims that he has already pulled the US out of the Paris agreement. However, the first day on which he can formally begin the process of withdrawing the country from the Treaty has not yet come. Under the terms of the deal, only on November 4, Trump will be able to send a letter to the UN about the beginning of the withdrawal from the Paris agreement. The withdrawal process itself will take exactly one year, so the US will formally withdraw from the Treaty one day after November 3, 2020 – the day when the next presidential election will be held.

Although the President initially claimed that he was going to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, making it more beneficial for the US, sending a letter to the UN means that an exit becomes inevitable. According to Trump, the agreement is costly for the country’s economy, which is the world’s second source of greenhouse gas emissions after China.

The US signed the Paris agreement in 2015 under former President Barack Obama. The country has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2025, bringing it to 2005 levels.