US opts out of G7 pledge committing to Paris climate accord

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Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, attended the first few hours of the two-day summit before returning to Washington for a Cabinet meeting, U.S. officials said.

The president's decision to pull the United States out of the world's first comprehensive agreement on tackling climate change and seek renegotiated terms "fair" to America drew widespread global condemnation earlier this month.

A two-day ministerial meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) nations ended in the northern Italian city of Bologna on Monday, confirming the split between the United States and its six major allies on climate change.

PRESIDENT Donald Trump's plan to withdraw the United States of America from the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change is a setback for the efforts of responsible countries trying to reduce carbon emissions.

Important players in U.S. industry and individual cities and states are already implementing changes aimed at meeting the targets laid down in Paris, where most of the world's countries agreed to try to cap global temperature rises at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Environmental groups already have challenged some of the regulatory reforms pushed by the Trump administration and Congress using the Paris accord, the UNFCCC and other initiatives as the legal basis for these court challenges.

The Trump administration's top environment official left a meeting with global counterparts early, boarding a plane home to tell President Donald Trump the United States position was "received well".

The statement is the latest indication of the growing gap between the USA and other major world economies when it comes to the priority of confronting climate change.

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In a footnote to the communique, the USA said it wouldn't 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.

In a statement on Monday, he defended the USA position. With a rogue superpower being led by a person who advocates numerous wrong solutions, perhaps there is a chance the rest of the world can unite to implement the correct ones.

"We're absolutely committed to climate action and the Paris agreement and we've been extremely vocal about this", McKenna said, adding that she made this position clear in her bilateral discussion with her American counterpart, Scott Pruitt, at the meeting.

Trump cited the negative impact of the treaty on the USA auto industry, among many others.

Supporters of the USA withdrawal said the pact would impose unfair environmental standards on the US and endanger jobs in the fossil-fuel sector and other industries.

Trump announced his decision earlier this month, prompting concern in numerous remaining 194 signatories of the historic agreement.

Italy's Galletti said the United States was looking to take the climate change debate forward on a voluntary basis while Paris was a multilateral accord requiring monitoring, deadlines and transparency.

The battle now turns to the G20 leaders' summit June 18 and 19 in Hamburg, Germany, which will bring in emerging economic powerhouses such as China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter; Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil supplier; plus India; South Africa; Indonesia and others.