Canada disappointed with Trump's withdrawal from Paris accord: McKenna

Guillermo Lane
June 14, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris deal earlier this month and the U.S. position was laid out in a brief note at the bottom of a general communique following a meeting of G7 environment ministers in this northern Italian city.

"One thing is clear: For us the Paris accord remains the only possible instrument to combat climate change because it's a multilateral agreement", Gian Luca Galletti, Italy's environment minister and the meeting's host, told reporters.

Differences between the United States and other leading economies over climate change remain wide and are not likely to narrow, environment ministers from G7 countries said on Sunday.

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".

The 2015 accord, backed by almost 200 countries, aims to limit global warming to 2 degrees or less by 2100, mainly through pledges to cut carbon dioxide and emissions.

Other countries initially opposed the USA proposal to include a footnote on its different climate change position, arguing that footnotes are for facts, according to the G6 delegate. McKenna says Canada has no interest in renegotiating the Paris climate change agreement in order to bring the United States back on board.

While voicing dismay at the US position, which was expected, environmental groups and concerned countries voiced optimism that the remaining six nations reaffirmed the Paris process and that the USA withdrawal had led to a groundswell of support elsewhere for the accord.

In a statement, Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the communique and the meeting are proof the "resetting the agenda" on the Paris agreement.

12 states and Puerto Rico have become members of the U.S. Climate Alliance and remain committed to achieving existing Carbon dioxide emission reduction goals (Green States).

Trudeau suggested striking out references to the Paris agreement in the communiqué, and seemed "concerned about further provoking his powerful neighbour to the south", the magazine reported.

"Scott Pruitt's many distortions and falsehoods about the Paris agreement, the reality of the climate threat, and the economic and employment benefits of the clean energy revolution have been sharply rejected by the other G7 environment ministers". And that's where things get interesting - will the United States abstain on climate change again, but this time not with Pruitt on stage but rather with President Trump there?

Trump announced in June 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. And Trudeau joined five other G7 country leaders in Italy on May 27 in an effort to persuade Trump to remain in the agreement.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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