U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt did attend a two-day summit with the Group of Seven, who met to discuss environmental matters in Italy on Sunday despite Trump’s pulling out of the Paris Accord.
However, Pruitt was only able to stay for the first few hours before he had to return to Washington for a Cabinet meeting, according to officials.
During the short time that he was there, international leaders from Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and Italy all let him know how disappointed they are with President Trump’s recent decision to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
During last month’s G-7 summit in Sicily, all of them, except for President Trump, affirmed their willingness to work towards making the Paris climate accord effective.
Leading the current G-7 meeting in Bologna, Italy’s environment minister Gian Luca Galletti said that regardless of the split, they still needed to continue talking about environmental issues such as ocean pollution.
Trump’s vow to put the United States first, a central theme of his presidency, was the reason he pulled out of the climate agreement. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden, explaining, “The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States.”
The president further stated he will “begin negotiations to re-enter — whether the Paris Accord, or really, an entirely new transaction — on terms that are fairer to the United States, its business, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
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