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Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:24 PM

US Leadership On Climate (Such As It Was) Is Now Officially Over, After G20 Meeting

At the request of the United States, any mention of financing action on climate change has been dropped from the draft statement created by finance ministers at the annual G20 finance meeting, according to a Reuters report.

This signals a marked break from 2016, when finance ministers called for all signatories of the landmark Paris climate agreement to ratify the agreement and bring it into force as soon as possible.

Since that meeting in July of 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States and has set about swiftly reversing years of climate and environmental policies enacted by his predecessor President Barack Obama. Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump was highly critical of both Obama’s domestic climate policies — like the Clean Power Plan — and international climate deals such as the Paris agreement. He pledged to withdraw the United States from the agreement, as well as undo Obama’s climate policies. Trump also does not accept the mainstream science on climate change, calling it a “hoax” created by the Chinese.

Trump’s denial of climate science — as well as his administration’s deep ties to the fossil fuel industry — has permeated the first 60 days of his administration. He has signed executive orders aimed at restarting previously denied pipeline projects, as well as sought to roll back the Waters of the United States rule, the Obama administration’s attempt to clarify the Clean Water Act. Climate and the environment also suffers major cuts under Trump’s proposed “skinny budget,” which was released last week — the budget would cut the EPA’s budget by 31 percent, and cut funding to climate research domestically and climate aid internationally. When asked about climate change funding, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that it was “a waste of [taxpayer] money.”



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