The rest of the world is beginning to count the United States out of the climate change battle, if a recent statement after the 2017 Group of Seven (G7) summit is any indication. The G7 leaders met late last week in Taormina, Italy, and naturally climate change was on the agenda. But in a rather blunt statement, they said America “is not in a position to join the consensus” on the Paris Agreement and one of the biggest challenges humanity faces today.
Leaders from the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Japan, and the European Union met at the G7 summit to discuss what they described as their citizens’ greatest concerns, which ranged from trade to the global economy to gender equality to climate change. The statement released after the summit declared the leaders committed to strengthening energy security and harnessing economic opportunities stemming from clean energy. The leaders also reaffirmed their dedication to the Paris Agreement – that is, all did but President Donald Trump.
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The statement reads, “The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics. Understanding this process, the Heads of State and of Government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom and the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement, as previously stated at the Ise-Shima Summit.”
There were mixed feelings over the results of the G7 summit. Trump called it an “tremendously productive meeting.” Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said they were satisfied after the meeting but was open about disagreements with the United States: “We do not disguise this division. It emerged very clearly in our conversations.” Recently elected President of France Emmanuel Macron seemed optimistic, saying he was certain Trump would support the agreement after conversations at the summit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t seem as hopeful. She told reporters, “The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying. There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not.”
That's not exactly how this works. If we don't hold large corporations to account, all the little people's solar panels won't make a dent on climate change. Everyone needs to be on board.
Why do we need Trump to participate? It's not Trumps job to clean up our pollution. We each just need to switch to renewable energy: solar, geothermal for homeowners and wind/solar/hydro farming for renters. No excuse because renewables are less expensive than grid electricity--anyone who says they can't afford it or can't because of upfront costs has clearly not gotten a recent quote because it literally starts at $99 a month with no down payments (aka the USA Mosaic Solar Loan). Don't blame Trump for your yearly 2.7 tons of air and water pollution. Get a quote, be brave, switch, save money and be the hero for our beautiful planet and animals.