The U.S. refused to sign on to the full Group of Seven environment ministers statement Monday, abstaining from large sections of the final communique on climate change and development banks funding climate initiatives.
“The United States will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities, preserving both a strong economy and a healthy environment,” a footnote to the final text reads. “Accordingly, we the United States do not join those sections of the communiqué on climate and MDBs, reflecting our recent announcement to withdraw and immediately cease implementation of the Paris agreement and associated financial commitments.”
The section on climate change in the final communique affirmed Paris as “irreversible,” voiced support for international efforts to limit hydrofluorocarbons and airline emissions and reaffirmed the necessity of “an interactive evidence-based dialogue drawing on the best available science, including reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
German environment minister Barbara Hendricks said in an interview that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, who attended the meeting for only a few hours Sunday, blamed President Obama for moving ahead with the Paris agreement, which Pruitt told other ministers is a bad deal for the U.S.
“Trump sending Scott Pruitt to the environmental ministers meeting for only one day was a pathetic and failed attempt to save face following his historic mistake of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris agreement,” John Coequyt, Sierra Club global climate policy director, said.
“Sending a notorious climate denier like Scott Pruitt to discuss anything related to the environment is nothing short of an insult to the other countries of the world who are acting on climate.”
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