Energy & Environment

Al Gore: A new president in 2020 could keep US in Paris agreement

Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore on Saturday suggested the U.S. could remain in the Paris Climate Agreement if there's a new president in 2020.

"If there is a new president ... a new president could simply give 30 days notice, and the United States is back in the agreement," he told an audience at COP23, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.

President Trump announced in June he would withdraw the U.S. from the international accord setting standards for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the agreement, signatories cannot withdraw until Nov. 4, 2019, and the exit would not be official until the following year.

"The first date upon which the United States could actually leave the Paris Agreement happens to be the first day after the next presidential election in 2020, so that's good news," Gore said during his opening remarks at a climate finance panel at the U.S. Climate Action Center.

He interrupted his thought with a brief pause. "Excuse me a moment," he said as he quickly bowed his head and folded his hands in prayer.

"That was not a partisan comment there. You can't quote me on that," he joked.

"The United States of America is still in the Paris Agreement, and we are going to meet and exceed our commitments," he continued. He added that mayors, governors and business leaders have still been doing their part in addressing the threats posed by climate change.

"The United States of America is very seriously moving forward," he said. "This train, if you'll forgive the metaphor, left the station in Paris."