US opts out of G7 pledge committing to Paris climate accord

Lance Nichols
June 13, 2017

On Monday, the United States refused to sign onto a pledge at a G7 environment ministers' meeting calling the Paris climate accord the "irreversible" global tool to address climate change.

At a meeting in Italy, environmental ministers from G-7 nations released a lengthy communique on climate change, including detailed commitments from each nation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of their promises under the Paris deal.

"In an opinion piece written after President Trump's recent announcement that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, Nobel Prize victor Joseph Stiglitz wrote, "... the rest of the world can not let a rogue us destroy the planet".

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, only attended the first day of the meeting on Sunday, held as an early summer heatwave settled over Italy, before flying back to Washington.

Scott Pruitt with Italy's minister of the environment, Gian Luca Galletti.

Ministers and diplomats from the other six countries, as well as United Nations officials attending the meeting, tried to walk a line between emphasizing their intent to forge ahead on climate change without Washington and expressing relief that Pruitt even showed up. "Respective of the importance to engage with longstanding allies and key worldwide partners, we approached the climate discussions head on from a position of strength and clarity".

An outnumbered United States sticks to its guns over climate change.

Trump is waging war against efforts to curb US dependence on fossil fuels. "We welcome the continued support that the Paris Agreement has received from other countries, and subnational and non-state actors around the world".

Trudeau's office has also been touting the prime minister's diplomatic moves to reach out to other global leaders to take action on climate change. "Everyone expressed their deep disappointment with the USA decision", she said.

The Associated Press notes Pruitt was told by his counterparts they were disappointed by President Donald Trump's controversial decision last month to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord.

Overall, the United States' plan to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord will have huge ramifications on America's global relations.

Greenpeace's worldwide executive director, Jennifer Morgan, said: "Paris is non-negotiable and the leadership shown by the G6 countries, along with the cities, states and businesses in the U.S. in moving the agreement forward swiftly is fundamental". In other words, the rest of the world should go ahead and implement 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.

McKenna said the Paris agreement could create economic opportunities worth "in the tens of trillions of dollars".

He reiterated his view that the Paris Agreement would remain "irreversible, non-negotiable, and the only possible tool to fight climate change" for all the United States' partners in the G7.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

Discuss This Article