G7 countries reaffirm climate commitment in Italy, leaving the USA isolated

Posted June 14, 2017

"We're absolutely committed to climate action and the Paris Agreement", Catherine McKenna told reporters following the meeting of the G7 environment ministers in Bologna, Italy on Sunday and Monday.

The top US official at the meeting, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, left the meeting after only few hours of one-on-one talks held with his counterparts from Germany, Japan, and Britain. Acknowledging the negative impact of climate change on eradication of poverty and achievement of sustainable development, the ministers committed to jointly gather $ 100 billion United States dollars a year in 2020, with public and private funding, to support climate actions in developing countries.

In a snipe at the Trump administration, Hendricks" ministry on Friday posted a "fact check' of Trump's speech announcing the USA withdrawal from the Paris accord, claiming it contains "blatant fallacies".

However, the USA refused to sign a joint statement on climate change with the other G7 countries. He said the other G7 countries hoped to continue constructive dialogue with the USA but insisted on the Paris parameters.

Automakers are disappointed with President Donald Trump's decision to exit the Paris climate accord - and some will back the agreement without him.

"I believe engaging in worldwide discussion is of the utmost importance to the United States when it comes to environmental issues", Pruitt said in the statement.

"Sending a notorious climate denier like Scott Pruitt to discuss anything related to the environment is nothing short of an insult to the other countries of the world who are acting on climate", said John Coequyt of the Sierra Club.

But the United States pointedly did not sign on.

Canada's official summary of the phone call, issued on the day it occurred, states that the two leaders "agreed to continue working closely with like-minded partners to implement the historic Paris Agreement".

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom signed the communiqué.

Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will cause that relationship to worsen because it sends a signal to the United States' European allies that the U.S.is abandoning them on fighting climate change.

"We said 'No way you are adding a footnote that you are leading, because that is not true, '" the delegate said.

The text affirms the importance of the Paris deal, the urgency of holding the planet's warming below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the vulnerability of small island nations and least-developed countries, and more.

In the point 7 of the 15-page final communique, they "reaffirm strong commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, which remains the global instrument for effectively and urgently tackling climate change, and adapting to its effects". Further, all this assumes that humans are the chief drivers of climate change and that humans can control global climate a century into the future.

The battle now turns to the G20 leaders' summit June 18 and 19 in Hamburg, Germany, which will bring in emerging economic powerhouses such as China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter; Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil supplier; plus India; South Africa; Indonesia and others.