No sign of healing in G7 climate change rift

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris deal earlier this month and the U.S. position was laid out in a brief note at the bottom of a general communique following a meeting of G7 environment ministers in this northern Italian city.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni have said the Paris agreement can not be renegotiated, urging their allies to speed up efforts to combat global warming.

Kerry, an architect of the Paris climate agreement, said during a visit to Oslo that many USA companies, states and cities were pushing ahead with restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions despite Trump's pro-coal policies.

Under the Paris accord, families in the Plains states would not be able to benefit from the low-cost and abundant energy resources available in the region and would instead be forced to pay thousands of dollars in additional costs related to higher-priced renewable-energy sources.

"There is a complete agreement on all issues apart from climate", said Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti.

In a statement the EPA said Pruitt had emphasized it was time to move forward and find ways to engage with other countries to protect and use US natural resources.

The U.S. refused to become a signatory to a G-7 statement on the environment which said all member countries were committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or "any section on climate change and multilateral development banks", Politico reported.

Trump's representative at the meeting, Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environment Protection Agency, was unrepentant, insisting U.S. action spoke louder than words.

Italy, France, Canada, Germany, the U.K., Japan and the European Union knew going into the environment meeting that on climate change, it would be them versus the U.S. Among the other six, the only issue was Japan's request to toughen the statement to say that the Paris climate agreement was "irreversible" rather than "non-negotiable", according to one G6 delegate involved in the talks.

"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.

Patricia Espinosa, the United Nations official in charge of implementing the Paris accord, emphasised that the U.S. could not take any concrete steps to exit Paris for three years, under the terms of the accord, a view the White House does not appear to share.

For instance, the Paris agreement would cause substantial problems for many cattle ranchers and others in the agricultural industry.

"The United States will continue to show leadership by offering action-oriented solutions to the world's environmental challenges", he said.

Most outspoken was Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who wrote in a Twitter message that Trump's decision would prompt him to resign from two presidential advisory panels on which he serves. He has said the United States could try to re-enter the deal under more favourable terms, but Italy, France and Germany have said the Paris accord cannot be renegotiated.

States, cities, businesses, philanthropies, and universities have vowed to fill the void that the USA federal government makes if it departs from the accord or ignores its voluntary targets: a 26 to 28-percent reduction in the country's carbon emissions by 2025, relative to 2005 levels, and further cuts thereafter.



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