The US and the UK will sign a deal to cut emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases under a climate pact agreed at the UN on Monday, US President Donald Trump said in a statement.
The US, which is a signatory to the Paris Agreement on climate change, hopes the deal will give the world a strong mandate to tackle climate change.
Trump said the pact would provide the US and its allies “a significant contribution to combating climate change”.
Trump’s statement came hours after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced they would be signing the deal on Monday at a climate summit in the French Alps.
US and EU President Donald Trumps EPA and NOAA will sign the climate pact, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said.
It was expected to be the first signed agreement in the Trump era.
“The US and other countries are going to lead the way in this fight against climate change and the agreement is going to be an important step towards achieving the goals set out by the Paris Accord,” Pruitt said in his statement.
“Together, we will be able to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and achieve global warming targets that we all want.”
In the US, the agreement will take effect at midnight on March 31.
It will also apply to other countries.
“We are committed to making America’s economy more energy-independent, and we will use every tool at our disposal to help the United States remain the world’s leader in clean energy,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in her statement.
Trump has pledged to withdraw from the Paris agreement if it fails to meet its targets.
He has repeatedly criticised the accord, which aims to limit warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels and has been the target of protests by businesses and environmentalists.
He said last year that he would “renegotiate” the deal to withdraw.
But Trump has said he is unlikely to change his mind because the US has “very strong political will” to stay in the deal.
“I think that if I’m president, we’re going to keep in the agreement,” he said in January.
“It’s an agreement that’s been very well thought out and it’s been negotiated very well by countries, including our own.”
The agreement is not binding on other countries but the US said it was ready to “work with others” to help ensure it was implemented in the US.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US had already signed several other agreements including one to curb methane emissions.
“Our commitment is that we’re ready to work with others, including other countries, to see if we can get that agreement into place,” he told reporters.
“That would include countries that are in the Paris area.”