Trump's environment official skipping much of G7 summit

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21 June, 2017

In his remarks at the close of the talks, Minister of Economy Gian Luca Galletti from host Italy, said ministers "agreed on everything except for climate".

A two-day ministerial meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) nations ended in the northern Italian city of Bologna on Monday, confirming the split between the United States and its six major allies on climate change.

Environment heads of the G7 industrial nations converged on Bologna Sunday with US President Donald Trump's oil-friendly advocate Scott Pruitt facing global calls to rethink Trump's recent decision to quit the 2015 UN climate pact.

Visiting San Francisco on Friday, German environment minister Barbara Hendricks and California's Jerry Brown, governor the USA's wealthiest state, agreed to work together to keep Paris on track. 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. The leaders' communiqué, agreed just days before Trump announced he would pull out of the Paris agreement, said the USA was not in a position to join the consensus because it was still reviewing its climate policies.

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, attended the first few hours of the summit on Sunday, but left to attend a cabinet meeting in Washington.

In a statement the EPA said Pruitt had emphasized it was time to move forward and find ways to engage with other countries to protect and use US natural resources.

"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. And according to Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Pruitt told delegates in the opening session today that the United States wanted to continue making efforts in combating climate change.

US Senate Overwhelmingly Backs Stronger Sanctions Against Russia, Iran
By tying Iran and Russian Federation together, Congress has made it more hard for Trump to oppose the action. In a televised addressed, he said that sanctions would violate the Iran deal signed by President Obama.

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

"Accordingly, the United States does not join those sections of the communique on climate and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), reflecting our recent announcement to withdraw and immediately cease implementation of the Paris Agreement and associated financial commitments".

While the US was being "relegated to a footnote on climate action", said Ms. McKenna, Canada and the remaining participants at the meeting - France, Italy, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union - reaffirmed the commitment to the swift implementation of the Paris agreement and the need to urgently tackle climate change.

In yesterday's ruling, the judge said the allegations of the writer, Mr Igal Sarna, were not substantiated by witnesses.

Despite the decision by the USA, the second biggest polluter after China, to pull out of the deal, many analysts suggest the shift to a low-carbon economy is now unstoppable, with renewable prices tumbling and new clean technology being developed and deployed.

A 15-page communique released at the end of the two-day ministerial summit made it clear there was a wide gap on the climate stance between U.S. and the other six countries, Xinhua news agency reported.


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