G7 summit kicks off in Italy

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The U.S. was represented by acting Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida following the departure Sunday by EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris deal earlier this month and the U.S. position was laid out in a brief note at the bottom of a general communique following a meeting of G7 environment ministers in this northern Italian city.

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.

U.S. allies in the G7 said on 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.

At least a dozen states and hundreds of municipalities have announced plans to work with foreign governments to reduce emissions and limit global warming as originally planned by 195 nations which signed the Paris agreement in December 2015.

"Today's action of reaching consensus makes clear that the Paris Agreement is not the only mechanism by which environmental stewardship can be demonstrated", Pruitt said in a statement. Hendricks told reporters that efforts were being made to get all countries - including the US - on board, but that this outcome wasn't certain yet. "Respective of the importance to engage with longstanding allies and key worldwide partners, we approached the climate discussions head on from a position of strength and clarity". The six other ministers reaffirmed their "strong commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement" and welcomed "the continued support that the Paris Agreement has received from other countries, and subnational and non-state actors around the world".

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He had told politicians at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign. Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak .

The United States' current relations with our allies in Europe will be damaged further due to this move.

The seven countries issued a summary of the summit, although the U.S. declined to sign on to sections on climate change and the Paris agreement.

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.

Despite the decision by the USA, the second biggest polluter after China, to pull out of the deal, many analysts suggest the shift to a low-carbon economy is now unstoppable, with renewable prices tumbling and new clean technology being developed and deployed.

U.S. environment chief Scott Pruitt was recalled yesterday from the G-7 talks to hold a meeting with President Donald Trump in the US. The group says that it represents 120 million Americans and $6.2 trillion in contributions to the US economy.

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