Trump administration blows off G7 international climate summit

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt headed home early after spending just a few hours at the two-day G7 climate summit in Italy. Environmental chiefs from the rest of the G7 nations remained and released a concluding declaration reaffirming their commitment to the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. The United States signed the document but included an objecting footnote that stated: “We, the United States of America, 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.”  

Expectations had been low for the meeting after President Trump’s recent Paris withdrawal announcement, but Erik Solheim, the head of the United Nations Environment Programme invited the United States anyway, noting, “We need American leadership on climate, trade, and peace. If the White House is not providing that leadership, we will find that leadership in other places. Europe is now more united than ever.” Pruitt’s climate objection, along with his early departure, make it clear our country is continuing to cede its global leadership. Fortunately, as noted by Solheim, Europe—and the rest of the world—stand ready to fill the void.


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