June 12, 2017

In Rebuke to Trump and Pruitt, Other G7 Environment Ministers Signal Full Speed Ahead on Climate, Paris Agreement

Statement by Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (June 12 , 2017)—The meeting of environment ministers from the G7 countries just concluded in Bologna, Italy, with a joint communique on a range of environmental issues, but with separate lengthy chapters on climate change and the role of multilateral development banks that were not endorsed by the United States. In addition to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt (who left after the first day), the meeting was attended by environment ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, as well as by representatives of the European Union.

President Donald Trump’s recent announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement—adopted by nearly 200 countries in 2015 and aimed at limiting global climate change—has created a sharp split between the United States and the other G7 countries on climate policy, which is on full display in the environment ministers' communique.

Below is a statement by Union of Concerned Scientists Director of Strategy and Policy Alden Meyer, who has nearly 30 years of experience working on international climate and energy issues.

“The unprecedented split on climate change out of the G7 environment ministers' meeting is another clear signal that the rest of the world is forging ahead with the actions needed to meet the climate crisis, despite President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Together with the pledges made by a growing coalition of U.S. mayors, governors, business leaders and others to meet America's Paris commitments without him, the meeting highlights President Trump's increasing isolation on climate and clean energy issues, both at home and abroad.

“Scott Pruitt's many distortions and falsehoods about the Paris agreement, the reality of the climate threat, and the economic and employment benefits of the clean energy revolution have been sharply rejected by the other G7 environment ministers. As their statement makes clear, there is no appetite to ‘renegotiate’ the Paris agreement, and the drive towards a global economy based on clean, renewable energy will continue full speed ahead despite the efforts of President Trump and Scott Pruitt to slow it down.”  

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.