Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

U.S. leaves G-7 peers to talk among themselves on Paris accord

U.S. leaves G-7 peers to talk among themselves on Paris accord

The G7 environment ministers issued a final communique today after their two-day meeting, the first since the United States announced it was withdrawing from the Paris climate pact.

The gap between the United States and other large industrialized economies on climate change continued to grow at the Group of Seven (G7) ministerial talks on environment, in which most members agreed to strongly back the Paris agreement, with US objections noted in a stand-alone footnote.

Presenting the report, Italy's environment minister, Gian Luca Galletti, called the Paris accord "irreversible, non-negotiable and the only instrument possible to combat climate change".

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. Many local governments pledge to carry out the provisions of Paris with or without the Trump administration.

"We will continue providing our customers with these vehicles, here in the USA and around the world".

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"GM will not waver from our commitment to the environment, and our position on climate change has not changed", the company said in a statement.

Trump announced the USA withdrawal on June 1, and the leaders of France, Germany and Italy immediately released a statement expressing their regret over the US decision.

The United States' partners in the G7 club of wealthy democracies vowed Sunday to pursue efforts to curb climate change despite a rift caused by the United States' withdrawal from the Paris accord.

The world's largest economies are divided over how to tackle global warming following the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris climate accord this month. "And we're going to persuade other states and do everything we can to get the whole United States of America fully supporting all the efforts needed to decarbonise America's economy - and, in fact, the world's economy".

"We can not allow one nation to derail what 190 other nations are happy to do", he said.

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"The transition to a low-carbon economy is on the march and it has an irreversible dynamic, including in the United States", he said in comments that played on the name of Macron's Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move) party. To meet the carbon-dioxide emissions targets, the United States would have to significantly cut back its use of traditional energy resources, including oil and natural gas, hurting the economies of many Midwestern and Western states.

Michael Gove returned to the Cabinet over the weekend after being sacked by Prime Minister Theresa May as justice secretary last July.

The Paris Agreement seeks to limit warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times to avert effects including disruptions to food and water supplies from heatwaves, floods and rising sea levels.

While voicing dismay at the USA position, which was expected, environmental groups and concerned countries voiced optimism that the remaining six nations reaffirmed the Paris process and that the US withdrawal had led to a groundswell of support elsewhere for the accord.

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