Just about everyone in the world realizes the importance of combating climate change. It’s not hard to understand that this is a priority—our economies, our health and our quality of life all depend on it. Just about everyone agrees on this. Everyone, that is, except those currently at the helm in the United States. This is both problematic and not. While Republican opposition is an obstacle, Inside Climate News reports that the rest of the world is prepared to act with U.S. help or without it.
At the recent G7 summit in Quebec City, Donald Trump showed an open disdain for taking action on climate issues. Rather than let this drag them down, the G7 leaders pledged to take up the mantle anyway, with a communique of the other countries laying out bold new climate goals.
“Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan the UK and the European Union reaffirm their strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, through ambitious climate action, in particular through reducing emissions while stimulating innovation, enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening and financing resilience and reducing vulnerability,” the communique stated.
Those nations agreed on a wide range of goals. All of them committed to reducing air and water pollution, as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions with the intent to reach a global carbon-neutral economy between 2050 and 2100. They also agreed on the importance of clean energy technologies, smarter carbon pricing and a stronger culture of technology collaboration and innovation.
While Trump and the other Republican leaders in Washington continue to advocate a “wrecking ball” approach to diplomacy, that hasn’t helped them establish a position of strength. Instead, it’s just isolated them.
“Leaders from the other six countries didn’t even try to paper over their strong disagreements with Trump on trade, climate change and other important issues,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “They are joined by thousands of mayors, governors, business leaders, and others who are moving forward with ambitious climate action and pursuing the tremendous economic development and job creation benefits that clean energy technologies provide.”
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