The Trump administration is set to deliver an official notice of intent to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but international diplomats remain hopeful that the United States could reenter the deal.
The State Department on Friday will release the notice, which will be transmitted by the U.S. delegation to the United Nations, according to two sources who spoke to Politico. It will be the first written notice that the administration plans to withdraw from the deal.
This will be a reiteration of Trump's intent to leave the agreement, although the U.S. will technically remain in the non-binding deal until 2020.
According to the rules of the deal, the U.S. cannot even formally notify the U.N. that it is withdrawing until 2019. At that time, the government will be able to notify the U.N. of the withdrawal that could come in 2020, but if Trump was replaced in the White House, the new president could signal that his or her administration is staying in the agreement.
The U.S. could only withdraw from the accord on Nov. 4, 2020—one day after the presidential election.
Trump himself left room for a possible re-entry into the deal when he made his initial announcement in June. Describing his intent to leave, he said that he would still begin negotiations on the matter.
"In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers," Trump said at the time.
Countries in the accord have said that they will not craft a new deal. When he said he would take the U.S. out, Trump reasoned that the deal was bad for the country.
"The rest of the world applauded when we signed the Paris agreement," Trump said in his June speech. "They went wild, they were so happy, for the simple reason that it put our country — the United States of America, which we all love — at a very, very big economic disadvantage."
The Paris clime accord was negotiated in 2015 and has won the support of nearly 200 countries.