British Environment Secretary Michael Gove has shared his "deep regret" with Donald Trump over the president's plan to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement, as he addressed the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) charity on Friday 21 July.
Gove, who secured the first UK interview with Trump after his surprise White House victory in November 2016, also warned that America cannot "simply walk out of the room when the heat is on."
"It is because environmental degradation is such a threat to future prosperity and security that I deeply regret President Trump's approach towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," he said.
"I sincerely hope the recent indications that the President may be minded to think again do signal a change of heart.
"International co-operation to deal with climate change is critical if we're to safeguard our planet's future and the world's second biggest generator of carbon emissions can't simply walk out of the room when the heat is on. It's our planet too and America needs to know we can only resolve this problem together."
Gove's comments come more than a week after Trump teased that "something" could happen regarding the Paris accord during his trip to Paris, France, for Bastille Day. But there does not appear to be any change to his stance on the agreement, which is signed by 194 other nations, since he met with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The US president was expected to make a state visit to the UK in 2017, but the trip could be delayed until 2018 over protest fears. Gove, meanwhile, used his first major speech as environment secretary to unveil his "green Brexit" plans.
"Leaving the EU gives us a once in a lifetime opportunity to reform how we manage agriculture and fisheries, how we care for our land, our rivers and our seas, how we recast our ambition for our country's environment, and the planet. In short, it means a Green Brexit," he said.
"When we speak as a government of Global Britain it is not just as a leader in security or an advocate for trade that we should conceive of our global role but also a champion of sustainable development, an advocate for social justice, a leader in environmental science, a setter of gold standards in protecting and growing natural capital, an innovator in clean, green, growth and an upholder of the moral imperative to hand over our planet to the next generation in a better condition than we inherited it. That is my department's driving ambition - it should be central to our national mission."
The UK is expected to split from the EU in 2019 after a two-year-long negotiating process.
The Paris Climate Accord is the first ever comprehensive international climate agreement. The historic deal was hammered out over a period of weeks in December 2015 and went into effect on 4 November, 2016 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The agreement was loosely framed so as to ensure that each nation can come up with their own customised solutions to deal with climate change issues. In essence, the agreement involved each nation reducing emission levels to ensure that the Earth's temperature remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Although this level of temperature change may seem paltry, the deal put significant strain on food and energy production, as well as on clean water sources.
Moreover, limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees would also help in reducing major climate change risks and impacts. Countries that some assumed would oppose the deal, such as China and India, also pledged to make massive reductions in their policies to limit their overall emission levels.
The agreement also allowed for poorer countries to be financially supported by richer nations. Although this isn't mandatory, it also was a bone of contention in the US Republican-controlled senate, that did not want to pledge cash to developing countries, Wired reported.