President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement in a statement from the White House on Thursday.
Trump delivered the address in the Rose Garden at 3 p.m.
There are only two other nations that aren’t part of the agreement, which was created in 2015: Syria and Nicaragua.
Watch a video replay of Trump’s briefing below:
The pact is the first global deal to combat climate change, and almost every nation in the world committed to the terms of accomplishing the goal, which is to lower global greenhouse gas emissions. That means lowering the amount of carbon dioxide that’s generated from the burning of fossil fuels, which Trump has said would harm companies in the U.S.
The language in the agreement says that it aims to “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.” In addition, it said that it would work to “increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development in a manner that doesn’t threaten food production.”
The agreement was signed at a ceremony in New York on Earth Day in 2016.
Many scientists have feared that a withdrawal from the Paris accord would increase pollution and speed up climate change effects.
The Vatican, through Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, has said that leaving the agreement would be “a huge slap in the face,” adding that “it will be a disaster for everyone.” When Trump visited Pope Francis last week, he was given a copy of the Pope’s encyclical letter that was created in 2015. It called for continuing to make strides at protecting the environment from climate change.
On the campaign trail, Trump had said that the deal continued to be burdensome to the economy of the U.S. He’s gone on record saying that climate change is a hoax.