G7 talks end with gap between USA, other states

The top US 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.

Ms. McKenna said she talked with the other G7 environment ministers about that deal, as well as measures being taken on clean growth, carbon markets, innovation and trade, financing for developing countries that are coping with the effects of climate change, resource efficiency and marine litter.

President Donald Trump announced in early June the USA would withdraw from the Paris agreement, which the Obama administration joined in 2016.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt talks with German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks during a summit of Environment ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations in Bologna, Italy June 11, 2017.

Scott Pruitt with Italy's minister of the environment, Gian Luca Galletti. "We welcome the continued support that the Paris Agreement has received from other countries, and subnational and non-state actors around the world".

Kerry, an architect of the Paris climate agreement, said during a visit to Oslo that many USA companies, states and cities were pushing ahead with restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions despite Trump's pro-coal policies.

"Positions over the Paris accord are far apart. and will remain like that".

Throgmorton said nothing new will come out of the letters in terms of new ordinances or resolutions, but they reaffirm initiatives the council has put forth, such as creating a climate action steering committee and setting a goal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

The U.S. said it would not sign up to a pledge by Italy, Canada, Japan, France, Britain and Germany which called the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change "irreversible" and key for the "security and prosperity of our planet".

"If someone thought this G7 was needed so that the USA would go back on what they said a week ago, he will be disappointed", Galletti said.

The US is the world's second biggest polluter after China.

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.

Kerry noted that the formal withdrawal process from the Paris Agreement will last four years from the date it entered into force, on November 4, 2016.

"We are resetting the dialogue to say Paris is not the only way forward", Pruitt said in a statement.

Throgmorton said he has been criticized over not acting quickly enough to address climate change.

Trump announced this month that the U.S. would not be bound by Paris targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saying they were unfairly damaging to the American economy and overly generous to India and China.

Countries such as Ethiopia and the Maldives, where drought and sea-level rises are huge problems, are among those invited to the meeting.

  • Leroy Wright