Published: Sat, May 27, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Europeans making sales pitch to Trump on climate accord


Which means on Saturday the group will sign off on a significantly "pared-down" statement at the close of their meeting in Sicily - an indication of deep divisions on climate change, trade and various other issues between Trump and the rest of the developed world. The Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, also raised the issue in a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to pool reports. During Friday's gathering of the Group of 7 wealthy democracies - as well as at earlier stops on Trump's first worldwide trip - leaders have implored him to stick with the 2015 accord aimed at reducing carbon emissions and slowing potentially disastrous global warming.

"All others have confirmed their total agreement on the accord", Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said.

If the USA - the world's second-largest emitter, responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gases - pulls out of the agreement, it could tank the historic deal, making it politically acceptable for other countries to shirk their commitments.

Senior officials are preparing to work overtime in a bid to bridge what appear to be irreconcilable differences over Trump's declared intention of ditching the United States commitment to the landmark Paris accord on curbing carbon emissions.

The final communique - 32 pages a year ago - traditionally outlines the common positions of G7 leaders on the economy and other global issues requiring joint action by the world's leading powers.

French President Emmanuel Macron worked on Trump during lunch Thursday, urging the us president not to ditch the 196-nation Paris Agreement on climate change before getting on a plane to Sicily, Italy.

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"So he knows that in the USA, there's very strong opinions on both sides", he said.

G7 leaders on Friday found common cause on combatting terrorism after the bloodshed in Manchester but failed to bridge a gulf between Donald Trump and United States partners on trade and climate change.

There was no immediate United States reaction to the reports, based on leaks to German media, but European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed Mr Trump had raised the issue.

"Then you get into the whole discussion on Paris - is it non-binding?"

Trump, who doubts climate change is human-made, campaigned on a pledge to sweep away Obama administration environmental protections he said were hobbling the economy. He singled out natural gas as "such a cleaner fuel" and also noted that the US could become a "manufacturing powerhouse" by investing in wind and solar energy.

They expressed concern at the recent proposal by President Trump to slash United States funding for the Green Climate Fund. A dominant wing of the GOP has denied climate change exists, as some Democrats have tried to reduce air pollution and push for alternative forms of energy.

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The Paris accord, which has been ratified by more than 130 countries, aims to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2°C (3.6°F) by 2100.

The original USA pledge to pare emissions at least 26 percent by 2025 "would be constraining to our economic growth", Cohn told reporters.

"He has a few other things on his plate, maybe", Paul said when asked why Trump has not yet pulled out of the Paris deal.

"President Trump will take time to reflect on it, and the other countries are taking note of that", Mr Gentiloni said.

While those comments were remarkable given Trump's fierce criticism of the Paris deal as a candidate, they were also in keeping with his emerging pattern as president. In a dig at Trump, he invited American climate scientists who felt alienated by the Republican administration to come to France to work.

That has emerged as a key concern for Trump administration officials anxious the U.S.is barred from staying in the accord while scaling back its carbon-cutting commitment.

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