Trump's Paris decision is a boon for Plains states


BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) - Top environment officials from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies met Sunday in Italy amid ongoing differences between the USA and other members of the club over how to deal with climate change.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt talks with Italy's Minister of the Environment Gian Luca Galletti during a summit of Environment ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations in Bologna, Italy, June11, 2017.

The statement is the latest indication of the growing gap between the US and other major world economies when it comes to the priority of confronting climate change and helping the world transition to cleaner forms of energy since US President Donald Trump said he planned to abandon the Paris Agreement on climate change on June 1.

The Trump administration refused to join a G7 communique released Monday that endorsed the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change.

"The only legal framework for climate negotiations is the accord and objectives fixed in Paris and there is no doubt that they are irreversible", said Hulot, a former TV star and a longstanding environmental campaigner who was persuaded to enter government by new French President Emmanuel Macron.

However, if the US were to hew to its Paris commitment, emissions would need to drop far more.

Trump announced his decision earlier this month, prompting concern in numerous remaining 194 signatories of the historic agreement. Any new USA administration could rejoin within 30 days, Kerry said.

And with the top-down climate approach now dead on arrival here in the US, the bottom-up alternatives are getting a lot more attention.

Trump's policies are likely to flatten USA emissions around current levels, about 11.5 percent below 2005 levels, according to a study last month by European researchers who compile a Climate Action Tracker.

At least a dozen states and hundreds of municipalities have announced plans to work with foreign governments to reduce emissions and limit global warming as originally planned by 195 nations which signed the Paris agreement in December 2015. Acknowledging the negative impact of climate change on eradication of poverty and achievement of sustainable development, the ministers committed to jointly gather $ 100 billion United States dollars a year in 2020, with public and private funding, to support climate actions in developing countries. Environmental groups already have challenged some of the regulatory reforms pushed by the Trump administration and Congress using the Paris accord, the UNFCCC and other initiatives as the legal basis for these court challenges. His plans to renegotiate a more favorable deal for the US have been rebuffed by the leaders of Germany, France and Italy.

The United States is the world's second biggest carbon emitter behind China. The group says that it represents 120 million Americans and $6.2 trillion in contributions to the US economy.

McKenna will visit the Vatican Tuesday to speak with representatives there about "the need to act on climate change", she said.

That came after Trump met the leaders of other G7 countries for their own summit in Italy.

If the USA 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.

He reiterated his view that the Paris Agreement would remain "irreversible, non-negotiable, and the only possible tool to fight climate change" for all the United States' partners in the G7.