Gap on climate change unveiled at G7 ministerial meeting in Italy

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Gap on climate change unveiled at G7 ministerial meeting in Italy

Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, has wrapped up the two-day G7 Environment Ministers' meeting in Bologna, Italy.

According to sources with access to the meeting, Scott Pruitt, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the United States will maintain its engagement in measures to combat global warming as a signatory to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, based on which the Paris accord was concluded. It "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".

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris deal earlier this month and the U.S. position was laid out in a brief note at the bottom of a general communique following a meeting of G7 environment ministers in this northern Italian city.

The environment talks echoed May's G7 leaders' summit in Sicily and the G7 energy ministers' meeting in Rome in April.

Trump's representative at the meeting, Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environment Protection Agency, was unrepentant, insisting USA action spoke louder than words.

However, the US refused to sign a joint statement on climate change with the other G7 countries. Pruitt attended the first few hours of the G7 summit in Bologna.

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.

In the point 7 of the 15-page final communique, they "reaffirm strong commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, which remains the global instrument for effectively and urgently tackling climate change, and adapting to its effects".

"The prime minister does not oppose the Paris agreement from being discussed at the G20". However, the U.S. President announced the withdrawal four days later.

And that comes after a week-long trip in China, where Gov.

"We said 'No way you are adding a footnote that you are leading, because that is not true, '" the delegate said.

Pruitt made a habit in recent months of saying there is a USA trend toward lower emissions from a peak in 2007, thanks to the glut of fracked natural gas pushing out coal as a source of electric power.

12 states and Puerto Rico have become members of the U.S. Climate Alliance and remain committed to achieving existing Carbon dioxide emission reduction goals (Green States).

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.

Instead, the USA was mentioned in a footnote touting its goals of a "strong" economy and "healthy" environment, and which implied it had already met climate goals.

Eric Wolff contributed reporting from Washington.

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