Trump administration abstains from G7 climate change pledge

Trump administration abstains from G7 climate change pledge
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The Trump administration has refused to sign an international declaration committing to action on climate change. 

The U.S. abstained from sections of a Group of Seven (G7) communiqué that dealt with climate change action, the Paris climate agreement and international development funds focused on mitigating the impacts of climate change, according to a joint statement following a meeting of G7 environment ministers.

“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,” the G7 communiqué said. 

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“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.”

The decision to not join the G7 commitment to climate change comes nearly two weeks after President Trump said he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal.

That decision — necessary, Trump argued, because the deal would put the U.S. at an economic disadvantage — was met with scorn internationally, including from some of the United States’ key allies. 

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittZinke under federal investigation for speech to NHL team: report Overnight Regulation: Senate panel approves driverless car bill | House bill to change joint-employer rule advances | Treasury to withdraw proposed estate tax rule | Feds delaying Obama methane leak rule Overnight Energy: Dems take on Trump's chemical safety pick MORE was among the loudest critics of the Paris deal in the Trump administration. He was the U.S. representative to this weekend’s G7 meeting, but he left the summit early due to scheduling issues. 

“We are resetting the dialogue to say Paris is not the only way forward to making progress,” Pruitt said in a statement. 

“Today's action of reaching consensus makes clear that the Paris Agreement is not the only mechanism by which environmental stewardship can be demonstrated. It also demonstrates our commitment to honest conversations, which are the cornerstone of constructive international dialogue.”

The Trump administration had previously refused to sign on to a G7 energy declaration because of its focus on climate change.