Climate change rift raises temperature for G7 meet

Climate change rift raises temperature for G7 meet

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.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said all seven countries had agreed on the need to take action but disappointment had been expressed at the US decision to leave the Paris Accord.

Group of Seven (G7) environment ministers and officials are meeting in Bologna on Sunday and Monday to discuss issues including climate change, sustainable development and litter at sea.

In a statement, the EPA said the US had “reset the climate change discussion” at the G-7 meeting and stressed that it was a party to the 15-page communique, except for the four pages dealing with climate change and financing for sustainable development.

At the G7 ministerial talks in Bologna, Trump’s main envoy, Environmental Protection Agency director Scott Pruitt, left the talks to return to Washington only a few hours after his arrival.

Joining other G7 environment chiefs at talks in Italy, French minister Nicolas Hulot said U.S. allies were determined not to let Trump’s controversial climate stance “poison” cooperation on other ecological issues, and said the world could work around the U.S. position, even though it is a damaging one.

President Donald Trump announced the USA was withdrawing from the Paris accord earlier this month, framing it as a “reassertion of America’s sovereignty”.

McKenna said the Paris agreement could create economic opportunities worth “in the tens of trillions of dollars”. The Paris Climate Agreement is an agreement which was signed by 195 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change members.

The U.S. withdrawal spearheaded by President Trump has been widely criticized among ship owners and industry as a regressive step that could potentially damage global transport and trade. Rather, it says that the accord is “the global instrument for effectively and urgently tackling climate change and adapting to its effects”.

France’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, said he hoped many countries would follow France’s lead in scaling up their pledges and accelerating the timetable on implementing Paris benchmarks in response to the USA withdrawal.

Expectations for the G-7 talks were already low, given Mr Trump’s decision on June 1 to withdraw from the Paris agreement that was signed in 2015 by nearly 200 nations.

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.