Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump  holds a sign supporting coal during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on October 10, 2016. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER        (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a sign supporting coal during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on October 10, 2016. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:31
Trump angered environmentalists from the get-go
CNN
Now playing
01:12
Tapper asks Buttigieg for infrastructure plan timeline
Now playing
02:48
GOP governor calls Trump's RNC remarks 'divisive'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018:  The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
SCOTUS blocks California Covid restriction on religious activities
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
02:13
Rep. Clyburn blasts GA voting law: It's the 'new Jim Crow'
Joe Manchin
CNN
Joe Manchin
Now playing
02:03
'I never thought in my life ...' Why Manchin won't walk away from bipartisanship
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Now playing
06:11
'Bombastic, antagonistic, unapologetic': A look at Gaetz's political career
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Michael A. McCoy/AP
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Now playing
02:42
Boehner says Republican colleague held 10-inch knife to his throat outside House floor
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Now playing
02:05
Biden calls for ban on assault weapons
CNN
Now playing
02:22
Biden: High-speed internet is infrastructure
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:24
Donald Trump breaks his silence on Matt Gaetz
CNN/WLOX
Now playing
01:43
'He says the quiet part out loud': Borger reacts to GOP election official's remark
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:30
Haberman: Trump had to be talked out of defending Matt Gaetz
CNN
Now playing
03:26
Georgia's Lt. governor says elections law was a result of Trump's misinformation
Now playing
02:38
GOP lawmakers can't give examples of why states need anti-transgender sports bills
CNN
Now playing
03:04
Avlon reacts to McConnell's advice to corporations
(CNN) —  

The Trump administration announced Monday that it will begin formally withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord, the first step in a year-long process to leave the landmark agreement to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases.

“Today the United States began the process to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “Per the terms of the Agreement, the United States submitted formal notification of its withdrawal to the United Nations. The withdrawal will take effect one year from delivery of the notification.”

After President Donald Trump said in 2017 that he intended to pull the US out of the agreement, the latest move is a procedural step that would lead to a complete withdrawal just after the 2020 presidential election. From replacing the Clean Power Plan to attempting to loosen fuel economy standards, it is another push from an administration that has made rolling back environmental regulations a top priority.

It also sends a powerful message to the rest of the world: That as the damaging impacts of climate change become more apparent, the US – which according to a recent analysis has contributed more to global warming than any other country – will not be a part of the international charge to solve the crisis.

The pullout follows acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s announcement that climate change will not be on the agenda at next year’s G7 summit – which the US is hosting – and Trump’s absence from the conversation at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September, where countries and businesses gathered to announce their plans to reduce emissions.

Critics of the withdrawal say that the US leaving an agreement it helped negotiate will harm the country’s standing internationally.

“Our credibility is really at an all-time low on this when it’s most needed,” said Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and a former State Department official who helped negotiate the Paris Agreement on behalf of the Obama administration.

Ernest Moniz, the Obama administration energy secretary who worked on the agreement, called the move “the latest step in the abandonment of American leadership to address the climate crisis.”

“While efforts to curtail emissions continue in states and cities, the world needs us to play the key role in building broad coalitions and creating actionable frameworks to transition to a low-carbon global economy,” Moniz said in a statement.

Speaking at the Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, President Trump again decried the Paris climate agreement as a job killer for American companies.
Speaking at the Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, President Trump again decried the Paris climate agreement as a job killer for American companies.

Trump has blasted the Paris Agreement in the past, claiming it would punish American workers and enrich foreign countries.

Proponents of the agreement, however, see the US withdrawal as a missed economic opportunity for American business.

A 2016 report by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group found that the Paris goals would open up an estimated $23 trillion in investment opportunities in developing markets through 2030. Critics say that with the US out of the market, the country’s chief competitors are stepping in.

Under the framework of the agreement, Monday is the earliest date that the administration can notify the United Nations that the US plans to leave.

But the process cannot be completed until exactly one year later on November 4, 2020, which happens to be one day after the 2020 presidential election.

Should Trump lose the 2020 election, a new president could rejoin the agreement, but would have to put forth new climate commitments to the UN.

The issue of addressing the climate crisis has already emerged as a top campaign issue for many 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, and the timing of the US withdrawal will likely keep the issue at the forefront.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg walks with protesters during the Global Climate Strike march in New York on September 20, 2019.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg walks with protesters during the Global Climate Strike march in New York on September 20, 2019.

The administration’s announcement comes at a time when signals indicate Trump’s climate policy is increasingly at odds with public opinion, with polls showing that a majority of Americans are concerned about global warming.

A poll conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication earlier this year showed that about 7 in 10 Americans think global warming is happening, and at least 6 in 10 are “somewhat worried” about it.

There is also the growing youth-led environmental movement that has drawn millions into the streets around the world to demand climate action from world leaders, another sign of growing global angst about the state of the planet. And in recent months, increasingly dire scientific reports have sounded alarm bells about the state of the planet’s oceans and polar regions.

But on Monday, Pompeo said in his statement: “In international climate discussions, we will continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic model – backed by a record of real world results – showing innovation and open markets lead to greater prosperity, fewer emissions, and more secure sources of energy.”

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler, Greg Wallace and Rene Mars contributed to this report.