Science

US official makes brief appearance at G7 environment summit

US official makes brief appearance at G7 environment summit”

The reason for heeding to climate change is clear, as it is less about a sense of moral responsibility than it is about the price of doing business globally.

Washington did sign on to the environment communiqué adopted in Bologna, but with a conspicuous footnote underscoring its opposition the document's 18-point section on climate change.

"I expressed Canada's deep disappointment in the decision by the United States to walk away from the global consensus of the Paris agreement during a bilateral meeting with Mr. Pruitt and also at the table of G7 environment ministers", Ms. McKenna told reporters on Monday during a teleconference from Italy.

Already through the first day of works, however, it was quite clear the rift on climate between the USA and their major allies was much likely to remain unchanged.

The communique also reflected joint language agreed to be all seven countries on non-climate-related environmental issues, such as recycling, reducing litter in the world's oceans, and development.

"The fight was all about the footnote", the G6 delegate said, asking not to be named.

"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.

Italy's large environmentalist movement had planned a demonstration against Trump's decision for Sunday afternoon in Bologna, an ancient university city and bastion of progressive activism.

But the weekly magazine reported that Trudeau and some other leaders rejected German Chancellor Angela Merkel's aggressive approach to isolate Trump over his rambling and mistake-filled June 1 announcement that the USA would withdraw from the Paris deal.

"We've all registered with regret the U.S. decision but at the same time the USA remains a party to the agreement because it foresees a three year period before any party can withdraw".

Environmental groups were less forgiving of the United States stance. Two years ago, the climate change holdouts were Japan, which had to turn to coal-fired power after shutting down its nuclear power plants because of the 2011 natural disaster, and Canada, which has since had a change of government. Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland argued in a seminal speech to the House of Commons that Canada can no longer rely on the US for global leadership.

That decision - necessary, Trump argued, because the deal would put the U.S.at an economic disadvantage - was met with scorn internationally, including from some of the United States' key allies.

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

Trump was represented in Bologna by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, who flew home at the end of the first day after insisting that the United States was continuing to seek "positive engagement" with its partners in the club of wealthy democracies.



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