Date
22 September 2017
Italy's Minister of the Environment Gian Luca Galletti (center) chairs a summit of environment ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations in Bologna, Italy. Photo: Reuters
Italy's Minister of the Environment Gian Luca Galletti (center) chairs a summit of environment ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations in Bologna, Italy. Photo: Reuters

US, G7 partners remain at odds over climate change

Differences between the United States and other leading economies over climate change remain wide and are not likely to narrow, Reuters reports, citing environment ministers from G7 countries.

Group of Seven (G7) environment ministers and officials are meeting in Bologna on Sunday and Monday to discuss issues ranging from climate change to sustainable development and litter at sea.

But earlier this month US President Donald Trump said he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, drawing condemnation from other world leaders.

“Positions over the Paris accord are far apart … and will remain that way,” Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said on the sidelines of the meeting.

Italy holds the G7 presidency for 2017.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni have said the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated, urging their allies to speed up efforts to combat global warming.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said all seven countries had agreed on the need to take action but disappointment had been expressed at the US decision to leave the Paris Accord.

“There will be a final communiqué tomorrow that will differentiate opinions,” she said, without providing details.

Trump has said the Paris accord would undermine the US economy, cost jobs and put the country at a permanent disadvantage compared with its competitors.

Scott Pruitt, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, attended the morning meeting in Bologna but flew back to the United States on Sunday evening to attend Trump’s first full cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday.

In a statement, the EPA said Pruitt had emphasized it was time to move forward and find ways to engage with other countries to protect and use US natural resources.

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