Gloval environment officials meet over climate change

Kristopher Drake
June 13, 2017

BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) - Top environment officials from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies met Sunday in Italy amid ongoing differences between the US and other members of the club over how to deal with climate change.

The president's decision to pull the USA out of the world's first comprehensive agreement on tackling climate change and seek renegotiated terms "fair" to America drew widespread global condemnation earlier this month.

Mr Scott Pruitt, a friend of the oil industry who is sceptical about man-made climate change and was US President Donald Trump's controversial choice to head the US Environmental Protection Agency, will represent Washington.

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

It's understandable, perhaps, that having just pulled out of the Paris agreement, the United States would not endorse statements that sing its praises and call for its implementation. Even though the United States has said it is committed to fighting climate change, withdrawing from an global agreement that fights climate change begs to differ.

McKenna also reiterated on Monday that Canada can work with other players in the U.S.to curb emissions and find business opportunities for clean tech and other industries.

Important players in USA 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 and cap global temperature rises at 2C above pre-industrial levels. The draft statement asked member countries to sign off on their continued commitment to the global pact to fight climate change, the report said.

While it will take years for the U.S.to completely withdraw from the deal, Monday's statement is the first tangible sign - other than Mr. Trump's Rose Garden announcement two weeks ago - to the rest of the world that the administration is serious about withdrawal.

During the summit, environment ministers of Germany, Canada, France, the U.K., Japan and Italy endorsed the Paris deal as "irreversible" to combat climate change.


Leader of a state judged to be the sixth largest economy in the world, Brown has become a figurehead in in the "Under2 Coalition", an worldwide pact among cities, states and countries committed to honouring the Paris Accord.

"If someone thought this G7 was needed so that the USA would go back on what they said a week ago, he will be disappointed", Galletti said.

While not flawless, the Paris Accord was an important step in addressing the world's growing carbon emissions.

But many analysts say Trump's rhetoric may make little difference.

In US media, it was reported that Pruitt was "summoned" by US President Donald Trump.

Some studies suggest the United States will cut emissions as much as 19 percent by 2025 if it simply moves forward as is, he said.

"I was very pleased to see the very strong commitment of nearly all countries to advance the Paris agreement", said McKenna at a press conference at the end of the meeting.

Important players in USA 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 and cap global temperature rises at 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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