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US opts out of G7 pledge committing to Paris climate accord

13 June, 2017, 10:34 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • United States Environment Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt attends the opening of a two-day G7 summit on the environment in Bologna Italy Sunday

President Donald Trump's recent announcement that the us will withdraw from the Paris Agreement-adopted by almost 200 countries in 2015 and aimed at limiting global climate change-has created a sharp split between the United States and the other G7 countries on climate policy, which is on full display in the environment ministers' communique.

United States Environment Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, right, attends the opening of a two-day G7 summit on the environment, in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, June 11, 2017.

Trudeau issued a statement after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the United States' withdrawal from the global climate agreement earlier this month, saying he was "deeply disappointed" in the decision and that Canada's commitment to fight climate change is "unwavering".

EPA head Scott Pruitt made his global debut on Sunday at a climate conference in Bologna, Italy, but left halfway through the first day of the two-day event.

Trump announced this month that the United States would not be bound by Paris targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saying they were unfairly damaging to the American economy and overly generous to India and China.

"The U.S.is now left as a footnote to climate action and that's very sad", said Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

The momentum of climate change efforts and the affordability of cleaner fuels will keep the United States moving toward its goals of cutting emissions despite the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris global accord, business and government leaders in a growing alliance said Tuesday.

MNCAA recently released an open letter to President Trump opposing his actions with regard to climate change.

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Almost 150 countries, including Canada, have ratified the Paris Agreement which calls for action to reduce pollution that traps heat in the atmosphere and to help developing countries adapt to climate change and cope with threats to their survival.

During his brief visit, Pruitt had time to meet several of his counterparts, including a stint rolling out pasta and eating prosciutto with Italy's Minister of Environment Gian Luca Galletti.

Other countries initially opposed the US proposal to include a footnote on its different climate change position, arguing that footnotes are for facts, according to the G6 delegate.

"We can not allow one nation to derail what 190 other nations are happy to do", he said. "Everything else for us is excluded", he said. Mr Trump has said Washington will not be bound by the targets on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases set down in Paris, and will cut funding for developing countries.

Trump cast his decision on Paris as best for the USA economy.

Scientists warn that the alternative is unprecedented devastation as sea levels rise and extreme storms, droughts and heatwaves becoming more common, endangering crops and fragile environments with knock-on effects in the form of new conflicts and mass movements of people escaping affected areas.

The G7 ministerial meeting in Bologna also involved representatives from the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), and Chile, Ethiopia, Maldives, and Rwanda as invited countries.


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