G7 Environmental Summit kicks off on Sunday but U.S. leaves early

Local governments step up fight with Trump on climate

Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, attended the morning meeting in Bologna but flew back to the United States on Sunday evening to attend Trump's first full cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday.

The momentum of climate change efforts and the affordability of cleaner fuels will keep the United States moving toward its goals of cutting emissions despite the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris global accord, business and government leaders in a growing alliance said Tuesday.

While acknowledging that Trump's ending of USA financing for developing countries affected by climate change was an important setback, he said France and other countries were looking at ways of compensating through multilateral development banks.

The U.S. doesn't join "those sections of the communique on climate and MDBs, reflecting our recent announcement to withdraw and immediately cease implementation of the Paris Agreement and associated financial commitments", it said in the communique footnote.

Global emissions stalled in 2016 for the third year in a row, but they didn't do so because of the Paris climate agreement (signed in December 2015).

When announcing the USA was pulling out of the Paris accord Trump said his administration would begin negotiations either to re-enter the deal or set up a new agreement on "terms that are fair to the United States". These aren't just the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, they are also shared by the U.S. Department of Defense.

As a result, the U.S. said it would not join those sections of the report on climate and multilateral development banks. Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland argued in a seminal speech to the House of Commons that Canada can no longer rely on the US for global leadership.

Italy holds the G7 presidency for 2017.

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. Mr Trump has said Washington will not be bound by the targets on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases set down in Paris, and will cut funding for developing countries. "We've followed a very deliberate process to do the best we can to make sure that businesses and the people of Iowa City are on board".

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.

Other countries initially opposed the US proposal to include a footnote on its different climate change position, arguing that footnotes are for facts, according to the G6 delegate.

In a footnote to the communique, the United States said it would not join with the other six countries in reaffirming their Paris commitments, but said it was taking action on its own to reduce its carbon footprint. The remainder of the US delegation were largely quiet, she said.

While not flawless, the Paris Accord was an important step in addressing the world's growing carbon emissions.

"The momentum around the Paris agreement is irreversible", McKenna said.

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