Japan, other nations face difficulties changing US Paris accord decision

Pauline Gross
June 19, 2017

The G7 is supposed to be a like-minded grouping of the world's top industrial democracies. It was during this trip; Brown stressed upon California's independence on climate change. Across the country, 274 cities and counting have signed on to the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, which asserts their commitment to lowering emissions at the local level (Purple Cities).

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

G7 environment chiefs met in Italy on Sunday for talks set to be dominated by the rift caused by the United States' withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord.

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

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

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. He left the G7 environment ministers meeting after only a few hours, said Ms. McKenna.

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

In a statement on Monday, he defended the US position.

Environmental groups were less forgiving of the United States stance.

Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, attended only one session, while the British and French ministers were absent due to domestic politics.

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He said the other G7 countries hoped to continue constructive dialogue with the USA but insisted on the Paris parameters. His aides stayed for the rest of the meeting. He had to return to Washington for a Cabinet meeting.

"Everything else for us is excluded", he said. "We didn't build a wall, instead we built a bridge".

The magazine portrayed Trudeau's position as a key factor that would make it hard for other countries to pressure the U.S.to do more on climate change.

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.

"We the United States of America continue to demonstrate through action, having reduced our Carbon dioxide footprint as demonstrated by achieving pre-1994 Carbon dioxide levels domestically", the footnote read. "We have to wake up our countrymen - in fact, the world", he added.

"Engagement is essential to protecting and using our natural resources".

Ford affirmed its position that "climate change is real", saying it remains "deeply committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our vehicles and our facilities".

Important players in U.S. industry and individual cities and states are already implementing changes aimed at meeting the targets laid down in Paris, where most of the world's countries agreed to try and cap global temperature rises at 2C above pre-industrial levels. The remainder of the USA delegation were largely quiet, she said.

Der Spiegel reported that United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were also wavering from making a strong statement in support of the Paris Agreement to avoid alienating Donald Trump.

Other reports by GizPress

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