U.S. Does Not Sign G7 Document on Climate Change

By Yessenia Funes Jun 13, 2017

In a new, international, anti-climate move, the United States did not sign onto a pledge yesterday (June 12) from the leading industrial nations which comprise the Group of Seven, or G7.

The seven countries—Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States—met in Bologna, Italy, for two days to discuss the matter before releasing the environment minsters’ statement yesterday. It sets a global agenda to meet the sustainable development goals and properly respond to the manmade disaster that is climate change with explicit language on how climate change will further exacerbate poverty and social problems around the world, particularly for “women and Indigenous peoples.” 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was there on behalf of the United States but left more than a day early after other leaders expressed their disappointment in the U.S. for withdrawing from the Paris Agreement June 1. The United States, however, has made its stance crystal clear in the document. The section titled “climate change” features a footnote that says:

We the United States of America continue to demonstrate through action, having reduced our CO2 footprint as demonstrated by achieving pre-1994 CO2 levels domestically. 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. Accordingly, we the United States 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.

In a statement released yesterday, the EPA says that its administrator has “reset the conversation about climate change.” The federal agency goes on to note that the U.S. is dedicated to “other, equally important environmental issues” like marine pollution and resource efficiency given that the climate change section is the only one with the footnote.

This text is the G7’s latest installment as part of the Paris Agreement, where 197 parties around the world signed on to determine what commitments they’d make in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. As the statement reads:

The Environment Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, and the European Commissioners responsible for environment and climate agree that the Paris agreement is irreversible and its full integrity is key for the security and prosperity of our planet, societies and economies. Our actions will continue to be inspired and guided by the growing, global momentum to tackle climate change and to accelerate the irreversible transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient and resource-efficient economies.

The statement goes further to encourage the 49 remaining parties that have not ratified the agreement to do so. Though the U.S. originally signed and ratified the international climate agreement, it is now looking to leave though the U.S. can’t officially leave the agreement until 2020 under its rules.