Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

G7 talks dominated by USA quitting accord


"G-7 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 a two-day meeting of G-7 environmental chiefs in Italy.

"Positions over the Paris accord are far apart. and will remain like that", Galletti said on the sidelines of a meeting, reports Reuters.

At the G7, Minister McKenna joined France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in reaffirming Canada's steadfast commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, which is the global instrument for effectively and urgently tackling climate change.

"We are resetting the dialogue to say Paris is not the only way forward to making progress", he wrote.

The battle now turns to the G20 leaders' summit June 18 and 19 in Hamburg, Germany, which will bring in emerging economic powerhouses such as China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter; Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil supplier; plus India; South Africa; Indonesia and others. "The transition to a low-carbon economy is on the march and it has an irreversible dynamic, including in the United States", he said in comments that played on the name of Macron's "En Marche!" movement.

The Auto Alliance represents 12 auto makers that make up 70 percent of all vehicle and light-truck sales in the USA, including the Detroit auto makers, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen.

The U.S. did participate in other aspects of the 15-page statement on sustainable development and private sector financing of climate change adaptation.

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Supporters of the Paris accord have called Trump's move a blow to worldwide efforts to tackle dangers of global warming. The coalition aims to uphold USA commitments under the Paris Agreement, and it also says it wants to meet or exceed the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era EPA rule on power plant emissions.

12 states and Puerto Rico have become members of the U.S. Climate Alliance and remain committed to achieving existing Carbon dioxide emission reduction goals (Green States). "That the U.S.is now left as a footnote to climate action ... is very sad".

The decision earlier this month by U.S. President Donald Trump to drop out of the climate pact appears to have cracked open a policy fissure between the U.S. and some of its longstanding partners, including Canada.

Pruitt heads the Environmental Protection Agency for Trump, who recently announced his decision to withdraw.

The Prime Minister's Office has made a request for a correction to the article, but they have not sought to clarify Trudeau's remarks to Merkel, saying she knows where he stands on the matter.

McKenna will visit the Vatican Tuesday to speak with representatives there about "the need to act on climate change", she said. The Democrats, on the other hand, are seen introducing more aggressive climate action plans that weren't even likely to be considered, had the president decided on staying with the Pairs agreement.

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