(CNN) Former President Barack Obama lamented the decision of his successor, President Donald Trump, to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement on Thursday, saying in a statement that the deal was meant to "protect the world we leave to our children". But he added that the United States would begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or "a new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers".
Opponents of withdrawal - said to include Trump's own daughter Ivanka - have warned that America's reputation and its leadership role on the world stage are also at stake, as is the environment.
On Thursday morning, senior administration officials said they still believed Trump planned to announce a withdrawal from the accord but would not reveal the precise mechanism the United States would utilize to execute the decision.
Most importantly, developing nations abandoned their long-held notion that reducing greenhouse gas emissions was an obligation just for rich countries - the main reason that the George W. Bush administration refused to join the Kyoto deal.
"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country", Trump said. "And if we can, that's great, and if we can't, that's fine", he added.
"The White House signaled that Trump was likely to decide on exiting the global pact - fulfilling one of his principal campaign pledges - though top aides were divided". When it was made official, though, more notables quickly took to Twitter to respond, as Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Adam Schiff bashed the Trump's decision.
Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more risky levels of warming sooner if the US retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.
Trump's decision marked "a sad day for the global community", said Miguel Arias Canete, climate action commissioner for the European Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
President Donald Trump will announce Thursday that the U.
Leaving the underlying treaty - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - would be faster and could be completed within a year. Trump is expected to announce that the U.
Michelle Hubert, head of energy and infrastructure at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: "It's disappointing that President Trump has signalled his intention to withdraw the United States from the Agreement, but now is the time for governments to affirm their commitment to it by turning global ambition into national reality". Parties can only withdraw from the agreement three years after it enters force - meaning the earliest a withdrawal could happen would be November 4 2020. That option would provide a fast track and could be done in a year, but would deny the US a future seat at the table, locking the country out of future climate talks.
And business leaders must continue to lead by example by expanding their own sustainability efforts, demanding more clean energy for their factories and offices and making it known in Congress, in the states and on the worldwide stage, that they support action on climate and clean energy. Major American firms, including Mars, Nike, Levi Strauss, and Starbucks signed a letter to Trump several months ago, arguing that failing to build a low-carbon economy puts US "prosperity at risk". Technological and economic changes have steadily made solar and wind power less expensive, and the USA was already on a path to meet numerous commitments made in Paris, amid the boom in electricity from natural gas and the plunge in prices for solar and wind power.
The final decision may not be entirely clear-cut: aides were still deliberating on "caveats in the language", one official said.
The show-like atmosphere was fueled by the presence of a jazz band, which performed a series of numbers before Trump emerged from the Oval Office to deliver his statement.