Gap on climate change unveiled at G7 ministerial meeting in Italy

A 15-page communique released at the end of the two-day ministerial summit made it clear there was a wide gap on the climate stance between USA and the other six countries, Xinhua news agency reported.

Japan rejected as a pointless exercise pleas by France, Germany and Italy for it to pledge support for the Paris Agreement on climate change in a joint statement immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump announced Washington was pulling out of the accord.

The federal Environment Minister says she has told the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency directly and also in a meeting with her G7 counterparts that Canada is extremely disappointed with the Trump administration's decision to pull out of the Paris accord on climate change.

"We the United States do not join those sections of the communiqué on climate and [multilateral development banks], reflecting our recent announcement to withdraw and immediately cease implementation of the Paris Agreement and associated financial commitments", the USA was quoted as saying in a footnote of the joint statement issued Monday by G7 environment ministers.

The 2015 accord, backed by almost 200 countries, aims to limit global warming to 2 degrees or less by 2100, mainly through pledges to cut carbon dioxide and emissions.

But the weekly magazine reported that Trudeau and some other leaders rejected German Chancellor Angela Merkel's aggressive approach to isolate Trump over his rambling and mistake-filled June 1 announcement that the US would withdraw from the Paris deal.

Trudeau's office has also been touting the prime minister's diplomatic moves to reach out to other global leaders to take action on climate change.

Trump said this month he would withdraw from the Paris accord.

"He (Trudeau) suggested simply limiting the statement to energy issues, something that Trump would likely support as well", said the report.

Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad wrote in emailed comments that "the characterization in this article is incorrect". "I also reiterated our commitment to work with provinces as well as states, cities, businesses and all actors committed to building on ambitious climate action under the Paris agreement".

  • Carolyn Briggs