US opts out of G7 pledge committing to Paris climate accord

US, G7 partners remain at odds on climate at environment meeting

The United States refused to sign up to the Group of Seven major industrialised economies' statement on climate change and plans to fund sustainable development, a statement from the group's environment ministers said on Monday.

President Donald Trump's recent announcement that the us will withdraw from the Paris Agreement-adopted by almost 200 countries in 2015 and aimed at limiting global climate change-has created a sharp split between the United States and the other G7 countries on climate policy, which is on full display in the environment ministers' communique.

"The United States will continue to engage with key worldwide partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities, preserving both a strong economy and a healthy environment".

The summit was the first since President Donald Trump declared he would pull the US out of the global Paris accord earlier this month.

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

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Most outspoken was Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who wrote in a Twitter message that Trump's decision would prompt him to resign from two presidential advisory panels on which he serves. The draft statement asked member countries to sign off on their continued commitment to the global pact to fight climate change, the report said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni have said the Paris agreement can not be renegotiated, urging their allies to speed up efforts to combat global warming. In it, the administration formally rejected both the Paris climate deal itself and the concept of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), global bodies through which developed countries funnel money to poorer nations to help them cut their pollution.

Trump has said he would be open to renegotiating Paris, something most European G7 nations have already rejected. But other world leaders say that would be impossible.

An outnumbered United States sticks to its guns over climate change.

The Trump administration has started to roll back redundant and costly regulations on the energy sector, but as Trump said in his announcement, staying in the agreement would pose serious obstacles to unlocking the restrictions of unnecessary regulations.

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

Continuing the dialogue is key, Galletti said.

In a footnote to the communique, the U.S. government emphasises that it continues "to demonstrate through action, having reduced out Carbon dioxide footprint as demonstrated by achieving pre-1994 Carbon dioxide levels domestically".

Erik Solheim, head of the United Nations Environment Programme, said on Sunday that the six other G7 countries shared an "absolute determination" to keep climate action on track "whatever happens in the White House".

"The now left as a footnote to climate action and that's very sad", said Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. The group says that it represents 120 million Americans and $6.2 trillion in contributions to the USA economy.

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