US allies in the G7 said Monday that action to contain devastating climate change was irreversible and could even be accelerated, despite Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris accord.
A two-day meeting of environment chiefs from the Group of Seven club of industrialised democracies ended with the US again disassociating itself from a statement underlining the importance of implementing the 2015 Paris deal on curbing carbon emissions.
Trump’s representative at the meeting, Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environment Protection Agency, was unrepentant, insisting US action spoke louder than words.
French minister Nicolas Hulot said US allies were determined not to let Trump’s controversial climate stance “poison” cooperation on other ecological issues, and said the world could work around the US position, even though it is a damaging one.
Trump announced this month that the US would not be bound by Paris targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saying they were unfairly damaging to the American economy and overly generous to India and China.
The Paris accord is aimed at capping the increase in global temperatures at 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Scientists warn that the alternative is unprecedented devastation as sea levels rise and extreme storms, droughts and heatwaves becoming more common, endangering crops and fragile environments with knock-on effects in the form of new conflicts and mass movements of people escaping affected areas.