G7 Italy summit ends without U.S. pledge on Paris climate pact

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

President Donald Trump announced the USA was withdrawing from the Paris accord earlier this month, framing it as a "reassertion of America's sovereignty".

On Friday, German news magazine Der Spiegel published a story suggesting Trudeau had "switched to appeasement" of the Trump administration during a phone conversation with Merkel on Tuesday.

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The prime minister's office claims the article is incorrect, and plans to ask the publication for a correction.

"The characterization of the call in the article is incorrect", said Cameron Ahmad, a Trudeau spokesman. Further, all this assumes that humans are the chief drivers of climate change and that humans can control global climate a century into the future.

As a result, the US said it would not join those sections of the communique on climate and multilateral development banks.

The meeting of environment ministers from the G7 countries just concluded in Bologna, Italy, with a joint communique on a range of environmental issues, but with separate lengthy chapters on climate change and the role of multilateral development banks that were not endorsed by the United States.

"Trump sending Scott Pruitt to the environmental ministers meeting for only one day was a pathetic and failed attempt to save face following his historic mistake of withdrawing the USA from the Paris agreement", John Coequyt, Sierra Club global climate policy director, said.

"We the United States of America continue to demonstrate through action, having reduced our Carbon dioxide footprint as demonstrated by achieving pre-1994 Carbon dioxide levels domestically", the footnote read.

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If the USA follows through with its pledge to formally withdraw from the pact, which can not happen formally until November 4, 2020, the country would join just two others-Syria and Nicaragua-as non-parties to the agreement.

"The United States has always been a world leader when it comes to environmental stewardship, and that was demonstrated on a global stage (on Sunday)", Pruitt said in a statement. He left the G7 environment ministers meeting after only a few hours, said Ms. McKenna. The decision was met with both praise and criticism, but despite the heated rhetoric, people living in the Plains states should be pleased with the president's choice to abandon this costly and burdensome agreement.

Gov. Brown is leading the charge in the most vocal state resisting President Trump, declaring open season on the White House withdrawal from the Paris Accord. McKenna said she told Pruitt that Canada won't support that either.

We believe in the Paris Accord and we are going to stick to our commitments.

"I made it clear that the Paris agreement is not open for renegotiation although we are in the phase of negotiating the rules".

Important players in U.S. industry and individual cities and states are already implementing changes aimed at meeting the targets laid down in Paris, where most of the world's countries agreed to try to cap global temperature rises at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The agreement is non-binding. If the US chooses to remain outside the accord, then there should be duties charged on American exports based on the amount of fossil fuels used in their manufacture.

Hulot's comments about the irreversibility of the deal struck in Paris in 2015 were echoed by other senior officials in Bologna.

Other reports by VgToday

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