USA refuse to sign G7 pledge on 'irreversible' Paris climate accord

Claudine Rigal
Juin 26, 2017

The ministerial talks in Bologna - besides addressing the state of implementation of the Paris deal - focused on issues related to "the frontier between economy and environment" such as an environmental tax reform, a green and sustainable finance, and the role of multilateral development banks, according to the Italian G7 presidency.

The summit was the first since President Donald Trump declared he would pull the US out of the worldwide Paris accord earlier this month.

"The United States will continue to engage with key global partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities", the communique read in a note. These aren't just the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, they are also shared by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The US is the world's second biggest polluter after China.

"We will be strong on climate action at the G20", Environment Minister Catherine McKenna on Monday told reporters by phone from a meeting of G7 environment ministers in Italy.

The momentum of existing climate-change efforts and the availability natural gas, wind and solar power mean those loyal to the Paris accord in the USA will have an easier time, with emissions expected to fall overall for years, said Robert Perciasepe with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, who worked with Bloomberg's group on the climate pledge. The president's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement "is also most serious because other countries could try to copy this American egoism and make money by exploiting the planet without any consideration for the common good and for the persons who suffer because of this". The remainder of the US delegation were largely quiet, she said. "The global community awaits our message".

"Engagement is essential to protecting and using our natural resources". That's not far from former President Barack Obama's goals for a reduction of 25 to 28 percent as part of the Paris accord, Perciasepe said.

When G7 leaders met in Sicily last month, six members - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - vowed to continue climate rescue efforts.

While the USA signed on to the document, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt included an addendum that makes clear America will not participate in the Paris pact.

Sadhbh Geoghegan, 9, Conall Geoghegan, 12, and their mother Caroline Conroy battle with "Donald Trump" (Green Party councillor Patrick Costello) at a protest this month against United States withdrawal from Paris Climate Change Agreement.

In fact, the final text doesn't say the Paris accord is the only tool for tackling climate change.

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