Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

G7 summit kicks off in Italy

G7 summit kicks off in Italy

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry predicted on Monday that the United States will achieve goals to limit climate change set by the Obama administration despite President Donald Trump's decision to quit a 2015 global pact.

According to sources with access to the meeting, Scott Pruitt, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the United States will maintain its engagement in measures to combat global warming as a signatory to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, based on which the Paris accord was concluded.

Trump said this month he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, drawing condemnation from other world leaders.

If the US follows through with its pledge to formally withdraw from the pact, which can not happen formally until November 4, 2020, the country would join just two others-Syria and Nicaragua-as non-parties to the agreement.

Speaking to reporters Monday after a weekend meeting with her G7 counterparts in Italy, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna dismissed the Der Spiegel report as an "incorrect translation".

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Hulot said United States commitments on other environmental issues, notably cleaning up the world's plastic-choked oceans, were not in doubt, and the commitment of industry players to green technologies and renewable energy would not be affected by Trump's position.

The latest environment statement cemented Washington's new position as a lone wolf in a group of seven economies.

If we fail to globally curb carbon emissions, the world will continue to grow warmer, sea levels will rise and we'll face more intense storms, droughts and floods. Those states that have not yet ratified the agreement may delay their actions, while those that have signed it will use the Trump's opposition as an excuse to step back from their commitments.

"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", reads the administration's position statement, which was included as a footnote of the G7 communique.

The momentum of existing climate-change efforts and the availability natural gas, wind and solar power mean those loyal to the Paris accord in the US will have an easier time, with emissions expected to fall overall for years, said Robert Perciasepe with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, who worked with Bloomberg's group on the climate pledge.

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A spokesman for Ms Hendricks said Germany would be looking for "something more concrete" from Mr Pruitt in terms of what the U.S. was going to do.

The call is included in the final statement taken unanimously at the end of the two-day meeting in the Italian city of Bologna, but without the support of the United States delegation to the chapter on climate change. Hendricks told reporters that efforts were being made to get all countries - including the US - on board, but that this outcome wasn't certain yet.

Pruitt made a habit in recent months of saying there is a US trend toward lower emissions from a peak in 2007, thanks to the glut of fracked natural gas pushing out coal as a source of electric power.

Greenpeace's Jennifer Morgan, said: "Paris is non-negotiable and the leadership shown by the G6 countries, along with the cities, states and businesses in the U.S. in moving the agreement forward swiftly is fundamental".

In a snipe at the Trump administration, Hendricks" ministry on Friday posted a "fact check' of Trump's speech announcing the USA withdrawal from the Paris accord, claiming it contains "blatant fallacies".

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"We are resetting the dialogue to say Paris is not the only way forward to making progress", Pruitt said in a statement. Because more than 190 other countries signed the Paris Agreement, the global deal is less likely to be turned down or even renegotiated. But U.S. business leaders in many sectors, including energy, technology and manufacturing, have embraced the treaty.

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