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The energy czars of the G7 group of nations failed to reach agreement on a strategy to combat global warming, as the United States’ new leadership pedals doubts on the veracity of climate science that connects human activity to rising temperatures.
The ministers present at the meeting had been due to publish a joint statement at the end of the summit, but Carlo Calenda, the Italian minister for economic development, said the U.S. expressed reservations caused effort’s failure.
Italy currently presides over the G7 group, which also includes Canada, France, Germany, and Japan.
Calenda said the U.S. “reserved its position” regarding the text of any potential release, prompting him to advise against a disunited statement to the press. The U.S. had previously agreed to support poor countries that would suffer disproportionately from floods, droughts and rising sea levels.
The G7 countries made joint commitments to the international community during the United Nations’-led climate change talks in Paris in 2015. Since his inauguration in January, President Donald Trump has appointed Scott Pruitt, a vocal critic of anti-climate change efforts, to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Trump campaigned on reviving the American coal industry, though new market data shows that the fossil fuel is losing market share to carbon-light oil and natural gas. With the recent reversal of an Obama-era national guideline to bring American cars to the 55 miles-per-gallon mark, experts say that the U.S. will almost certainly fail to meet its carbon reduction promises under the Paris agreement.
Former ExxonMobil CEO turned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken on his support of the Paris agreement in the past. Last month, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance told reporters in Houston that “it would be good for the U.S. to stay in the climate agreement.”
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…