The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan, others face difficulties changing US Paris Accord decision

June 12, 2017

BOLOGNA, ITALY- Environment ministers from Japan and other major nations faced difficulties persuading the United States to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, on the first day of their two-day meeting in Bologna, Italy, on Sunday.
It is the first environment chiefs' meeting among the Group of Seven key industrial nations since US President Donald Trump announced earlier this month his country's exit from the pact for setting an international framework on the fight against global warming in and after 2020.
According to sources with access to the meeting, Scott Pruitt, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, said the United States will maintain its engagement in measures to combat global warming as a signatory to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, based on which the Paris accord was concluded.
But Italian environment minister Gian Luca Galletti, chair of the meeting, told reporters that the United States and the six other G-7 members--Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan--are widely divided over the Paris accord and that the situation is expected to remain unchanged.
Koichi Yamamoto, environment minister of Japan, said that the Paris accord would have its intended effect with US participation, adding that his country hopes to cooperate with the United States under its framework although that may take a long time.
A Japanese government source said, "It remains to be seen how specifically the United States will tackle climate change," stressing the importance of keeping a close tab on the country's moves.
In his June 1 address to announce the US withdrawal from the Paris accord, Trump called for a renegotiation of the pact or talks on a new framework. But leaders of France, Germany and Italy have clarified their opposition to any renegotiation on the Paris deal.
Attention is now being paid to whether the G-7 ministers will be able to announce a joint statement after the end of the two-day Bologna meeting.
Participants could fail to adopt a statement if their discussions on how to refer to climate change issues hit a snag, informed sources said.
The Paris accord, reached among more than 190 countries in December 2015, took effect in November 2016. (Jiji Press)