Trump administration abstains from global climate change pledge

Elias Hubbard
June 13, 2017

Scott Pruitt, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief, was called back to Washington from the G7 to attend President Donald Trump's first full Cabinet meeting on Monday.

"It was very sad to see that the United States was relegated to a footnote on climate action", McKenna told reporters Monday, saying she told Pruitt the pact is not up for renegotiation and that he left the meeting after a couple of hours.

The top USA official at the meeting, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, left the meeting after only few hours of one-on-one talks held with his counterparts from Germany, Japan, and Britain.

Trump has sometimes dismissed man-made climate change as a hoax even though a United Nations panel of leading scientists says it is at least 95 percent probable that man-made emissions were the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

"I believe engaging in worldwide discussion is of the utmost importance to the United States when it comes to environmental issues", he said in the statement.

As a result, the USA said it would not join those sections of the communique on climate and multilateral development banks.

Important players in USA industry and individual cities and states are already implementing changes to meet targets laid down in Paris.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a climate agreement with China last week and told the Associated Press that China, European countries and USA state governors would fill the gap. Even though the United States has said it is committed to fighting climate change, withdrawing from an global agreement that fights climate change begs to differ. During Secretary of Defense James Mattis' confirmation process, he stated that "climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today" and that it "is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of-government response".

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

Trump cast his decision on Paris as best for the United States economy. A major demonstration against Trump's decision is planned for Sunday afternoon in Bologna, an ancient university city and bastion of progressive activism.

However, if the US were to hew to its Paris commitment, emissions would need to drop far more. The discussions in Bologna were also attended by Chile, the Maldives, Ethiopia and Rwanda, four developing countries with a particular interest in combatting climate change.

"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.

"President Trump's announced withdrawal [from the accord] has heightened the focus on this fundamental existential threat called global warming, called habitat destruction, called species extinction", Brown said in a speech.

Important players in U.S. industry and individual cities and states are already implementing changes aimed at meeting the targets laid down in Paris, where most of the world's countries agreed to try and cap global temperature rises at 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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