Trump's environment official skipping much of G7 summit

Jun 21, 2017, 06:29

As a result, the USA said it would not join those sections of the report on climate and multilateral development banks.

The G7 is supposed to be a like-minded grouping of the world's top industrial democracies. It was during this trip; Brown stressed upon California's independence on climate change.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers farewell remarks to State Department employees at the State Department in Washington.

During the summit, environment ministers of Germany, Canada, France, the U.K., Japan and Italy endorsed the Paris deal as "irreversible" to combat climate change.

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

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.

Catherine McKenna, minister of environment for Canada which will host the G7 process in 2018, said they hoped the United States might yet return to the fold to at least some extent.

"The only way in which you can deal with this challenge, the only way in which we can enhance the environment to pass on to our children in a better state is by working across borders". The delegates from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom were planning to issue a communique on a range of green issues including climate change on Monday.

"G7 countries have crucial roles and responsibilities to our own public opinion, to developing countries and to the planet", Italy's Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said at the start of the two-day meet.

And with the top-down climate approach now dead on arrival here in the US, the bottom-up alternatives are getting a lot more attention.

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Grass covers the round table where environment ministers sit at the opening of a two-day G7 summit on the environment, in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, June 11, 2017.

"Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted her statement regarding President Trumps decision to leave the Paris climate accord on her Web page: "...

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt was recalled from Group of Seven climate talks in Italy. His aides stayed for the rest of the meeting.

Pruitt left early to attend Trump's first full Cabinet meeting on Monday.

"He (Trudeau) suggested simply limiting the statement to energy issues, something that Trump would likely support as well", said the report. "We didn't build a wall, instead we built a bridge". He has said the US could try to re-enter the deal under more favorable terms, but the European Union - and in particular Italy, France and Germany - have said the Paris accord cannot be renegotiated.

"Everything else for us is excluded", he said.

The final version of the communiqué still references this decline - by 0.03 percent in 2015 compared to 1994, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration - but only as an example of how the U.S. will "continue to demonstrate through action", without saying the U.S. was "leading". Natural gas isn't just cleaner than coal for the local environment, it also emits roughly half as much carbon dioxide as the sooty power source. However, if the USA were to hew to its Paris commitment, emissions would need to drop far more.

So, we must all redouble our efforts now, because as the Irish Environmental Pillar stated in condemning the Trump decision, 'We have a duty to generations to come to leave the planet in a condition that is fit for all life and not riven with starvation, refugee crises, water shortages and war'.

The Bologna discussions will also be attended by representatives of Chile, the Maldives, Ethiopia and Rwanda, four nations with strong interest in stemming climate change.

"The majority of the people in the United States are deeply committed to the Paris Agreement", Kerry said.