WASHINGTON, August 26, 2019—The G7 leaders summit just concluded in Biarritz, France, with a one-page declaration. Due to deep divisions between the U.S. and the other six industrialized countries, the declaration failed to mention climate change or the Paris Agreement.
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement—adopted by nearly 200 countries in 2015 and aimed at limiting global climate change—is just one of several examples of how the U.S. has gone rogue from its key allies on major geopolitical challenges.
Below is a statement by Union of Concerned Scientists Director of Strategy and Policy Alden Meyer, who has more than 30 years of experience working on international climate and energy issues.
Once again, President Trump found himself the odd man out at the G7 summit, on a range of issues. While other leaders met to discuss the climate crisis, including the fires raging in the Amazon, the U.S. chair was empty. President Trump is clearly more concerned about inviting the leader of a country that has meddled in U.S. elections and invaded Ukraine to come to next year’s G7 summit than he is about protecting Americans from the devastating impacts of climate change. Fortunately, the other G7 leaders have made it crystal clear that they reject his head-in-the-sand stance on the climate crisis.
Next month, nations will convene in New York for the climate summit hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to present commitments to rapidly decarbonize their economies and ramp up support for similar actions in developing countries. The U.K.’s announcement yesterday that it will join Germany in doubling its contribution to the Green Climate Fund was a constructive signal in that regard.
People around the globe, including an overwhelming majority of Americans, are demanding urgent action to address the growing climate crisis. In the absence of climate leadership from the Trump administration, it will continue to be up to governors, mayors, business leaders and others to carry the climate action agenda forward for the U.S.
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.