G7 talks end with gap between USA, other states

Illustration by Anirban Ghosh

Illustration by Anirban Ghosh

Canada's environment minister says a recent report claiming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel about leaving the Paris climate agreement out of a planned G20 statement was an "incorrect translation". Even though the United States has said it is committed to fighting climate change, withdrawing from an global agreement that fights climate change begs to differ.

In addition to the energy-related problems created by the Paris climate accord, there are numerous other ways in which it would create problems for people in the Plains states.

The call is included in the final statement taken unanimously at the end of the two-day meeting in the Italian city of Bologna, but without the support of the United States delegation to the chapter on climate change.

German Chancellor Angele Merkel met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shortly after Trump returned to the US, and then with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

As the aftershocks of the Trump administration's June 1 rejection of the Paris Agreement continue to rumble, groups across the United States have rebelled against the decision to withdraw from the the global climate pact.

The U.S. has said it is open to renegotiating the accord, arguing that it imposes less stringent emissions standards on China, India and others. "Europe is now more united than ever".

The Paris accord is aimed at capping the increase in global temperatures at two degrees Celsius above pre- industrial levels. However, the COP22 summit made limited headway in this regard; more specifically, just US$165 million of new money was pledged by developed economies for the Green Climate Fund, set up by the UN to distribute an eventual $100 billion a year to help developing nations' mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

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She said the G7 ministers also discussed the importance of USA states, cities and businesses in tackling climate change.

The five-day visit by Jerry Brown, a Democrat, came just days after Trump declared on 1 June that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris Accord, which broadly commits 195 countries to try and keep the global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada elected not to sign that letter, with Trudeau and McKenna releasing their own statements instead.

While this shows that the U.S.is not interested in leading the fight against climate change, it also allows other countries to take over the country's leadership role in this effort.

Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, attended the first few hours of the two-day summit before returning to Washington for a Cabinet meeting, U.S. officials said.

Patricia Espinosa, the United Nations official in charge of implementing the Paris accord, emphasised that the USA could not take any concrete steps to exit Paris for three years, under the terms of the accord.

Trump announced at the start of this month that the U.S. would not abide by the 2015 Paris agreement and would seek to renegotiate terms he denounced as unfairly damaging to the American economy and overly generous to India and China.

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