G-7, sans U.S. support, reiterates commitment to Paris Climate accord

ROME – Environment ministers from the G-7 countries reaffirmed on Monday their commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, without the United States’ support.

The call is included in the final statement taken unanimously at the end of the two-day meeting in the Italian city of Bologna, but without the support of the U.S. delegation to the chapter on climate change.

The statement says that the Paris agreement remains as the global mechanism to effectively and urgently handle climate change and for the adaptation to its effects, while reiterating that it is irreversible and its comprehensive management is crucial for the security and prosperity of the world, societies and economies.

Acknowledging the negative impact of climate change on eradication of poverty and achievement of sustainable development, the ministers committed to jointly gather $100 billion USD a year in 2020, with public and private funding, to support climate actions in developing countries.

The final declaration of the event also included other issues of world interest such as the fulfillment of the goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, particularly on Africa, the efficiency of resource management related to circular economy and management of marine waste.

Other issues included were the role of multilateral development banks in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement, which was also left by United States, environmental tax reform, environmental policies and employment, as well as universities and business for sustainable development.

This was the fifth meeting of G-7, the group of richest capitalist countries in the world under the temporary annual presidency of Italy, during which the summit of heads of State or Government was held in the Sicilian town of Taormina on May 26th and 27th.

Earlier this month, Donald Trump had announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the Paris accord, framing it as a “reassertion of America’s sovereignty”. He has said the U.S. could try to re-enter the deal under more favorable terms, but Italy, France and Germany have said the Paris accord cannot be renegotiated.

In a footnote to the G7 report, the US said on Monday it would not join with the other six countries in reaffirming their Paris commitments, but said it was taking action on its own to reduce its carbon footprint.

Paris Agreement

The 2015 Paris agreement aims to prevent the Earth from heating up by 2C since the start of the industrial age. As the world has already warmed about 1.1C since the industrial revolution, the accord aims to ensure the threshold is not breached with each nation curbing heat-trapping emissions.