USA refuse to sign G7 pledge on 'irreversible' Paris climate accord

Former Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the USA can still meet the Paris agreement on climate change standards so long as President Donald Trump does not win a second presidential term.

While the USA was being "relegated to a footnote on climate action", said Ms. McKenna, Canada and the remaining participants at the meeting - France, Italy, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the European Union - reaffirmed the commitment to the swift implementation of the Paris agreement and the need to urgently tackle climate change.

The final version stated that the US will continue to engage with "key global partners" in a way consistent with its domestic priorities - a "strong" economy and a "healthy environment".

Donald Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the Paris accord earlier this month, framing it as a "reassertion of America's sovereignty".

Evaluating the U.S.' Dedication to planet Earth is a little trickier though.

"Scott Pruitt's many distortions and falsehoods about the Paris agreement, the reality of the climate threat, and the economic and employment benefits of the clean energy revolution have been sharply rejected by the other G7 environment ministers".

Many U.S. companies, states and cities are pushing ahead with restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, the Massachusetts Democrat told the audience members, "So I want people not to be dismayed".

Longtime followers of energy sector news will remember a time just a few years ago when China could now be considered a viable leader for the anti-climate change movement due to its voracious coal diet.

The U.S. Climate Alliance recently announced that Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia have all joined the coalition, which is committed to upholding the Paris Accord and taking aggressive action on climate change.

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Presenting the communique Monday, Italy's environment minister, Gian Luca Galletti, called the Paris accord "irreversible, non-negotiable and the only instrument possible to combat climate change". He added the "US is increasingly isolating itself" and leaving other countries to take the lead.

"Today's action of reaching consensus makes clear that the Paris Agreement is not the only mechanism by which environmental stewardship can be demonstrated", he said.

Pruitt only attended the meeting for a couple of hours, McKenna says and his officials who remained behind didn't say much during the remainder of the negotiations.

Erik Solheim, head of the U.N. Environment Program, said Sunday that the six other G7 countries shared an "absolute determination" to keep climate action on track "whatever happens in the White House".

"Americans don't need Washington to meet our Paris commitments, and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it", Bloomberg said this week in France after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, two strong proponents of the agreement.

"If someone thought this G7 was needed so that the USA would go back on what they said a week ago, he will be disappointed", Galletti said.

Up next is the G-20 meeting in Germany in July.

In remarks during the two days of talks and at their conclusion, some leaders vowed to continue with climate action despite the USA stance. But the United Nations now has no mechanism for a contribution from entities other than a nation's national government.

Two days earlier Brown met with China's President Xi Jinping for 45 minutes and signed an agreement with China's Minister of Science and Technology to deepen cooperation on low-carbon urban development and green technology. A source familiar with the matter said Trudeau had last month strongly urged Trump to stay in.

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