Cindy Carr, (202) 495-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As world leaders from the nation’s seven largest economies convene in Quebec today at the G-7 summit, the lead up to the annual event has been anything but business as usual. In recent days, Trump has repeatedly voiced his unwillingness to attend the summit, and early this morning it was reported that Trump will depart the summit on Saturday morning, before attending the scheduled sessions on gender equality and women’s empowerment, climate change and clean energy, and oceans.
Trump’s go-it-alone, extreme agenda has taken center stage at the summit, with French President Emmanuel Macron tweeting yesterday, “The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be.”
A stark division already exists between Trump and the other leaders: a new Sierra Club analysis of current world leaders and their stances on the climate crisis finds that Donald Trump will be the only leader at the G-7 -- including the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission -- who does not accept the need to act to tackle the climate crisis.
This is particularly striking since all of these leaders represent right-leaning, “populist,” or centrist political parties with substantial backing from the business community. The U.S. is the only country in the Western alliance -- and, indeed, the world -- in which science denial is a political position advocated by a ruling political party.
HERE’S WHAT THE OTHER G-7 LEADERS SAY ABOUT CLIMATE ACTION:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - Canada
“At home, we are working hard to help these communities adapt and prepare for the future. At the international level, our commitment is unwavering. There is no country on this planet that can walk away from the reality of climate change. And for our part, Canada will continue to fight for the global plan that has a realistic chance of countering it. We have a responsibility to future generations, and we will uphold it.” (Source: Canadian Government)
President Emmanuel Macron - France
“I believe in building a better future for our children, which requires offering them a planet that is still habitable in 25 years. Some people think that securing current industries - and their jobs - is more urgent than transforming our economies to meet the global challenge of climate change. I hear these concerns, but we must find a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy." (Source: French Government website)
Prime Minister Theresa May - United Kingdom
“There is a clear moral imperative for developed economies such as the UK to help those around the world who stand to lose most from the consequences of manmade climate change. But by putting the UK at the forefront of efforts to cut carbon emissions and develop clean energy, we can also make the most of new economic opportunities. And by taking action to create a secure natural environment, we are fulfilling a duty we owe to the next generation.” (Source: The Guardian)
Chancellor Angela Merkel - Germany
"At the conference here in Bonn, the focus is on the imminent risks and on adapting to climate change. On the one hand, we have melting glaciers, rising sea levels and flooding; on the other, we have storms, unbearable heat and severe droughts. No one – I say no one – may or can ignore this. And if we also think about the growing global population, we know that increasing conflicts on natural resources will be inevitable if we do nothing to protect the climate." (Source: German Government)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - Japan
“We will move forward with developing a strategy for achieving the 2050 goals in the Paris Agreement. Japan’s excellent environmental technologies will contribute to both realizing world economic growth and fighting climate change.” (Source: Japanese Government)
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte - Italy
“We will work to speed up the process, already in progress, of the ‘decarbonisation’ of our production system.” (Source: Reuters, June 5, 2018 Inaugural Speech)
Jean-Claude Juncker - President of the European Commission
“In Paris, the world committed to help vulnerable countries adapt to consequences of climate change. The decision of the U.S. to go back on its pledge to the Green Climate Fund leaves a major void. From our side we stand firm to our commitments. And we will work with third countries to mobilise the right public and private investments." (Source: European Commission website)
Donald Tusk - President of the European Council
“Today, we are stepping up our cooperation on climate change with China. Which means that today, China and Europe have demonstrated solidarity with future generations and responsibility for the whole planet. We are convinced that yesterday's decision by the United States to leave the Paris Agreement is a big mistake, bigger than not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, because Paris is fairer. But the fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the US." (Source: European Council website)
But when it comes to Donald Trump…
Donald Trump - United States of America
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” (Source: Twitter)
“There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.” (Source: The Independent)
In response, Sierra Club Global Climate Policy Director John Coequyt issued the following statement:
“Trump is the only world leader at the G-7 who fails to grasp the basic science, and the urgent threat, of the climate crisis. That’s not because he is the only conservative or populist in the group. Merkel, May, Abe, and Conte all lead conservative parties or populist coalitions that accept the reality of the climate crisis and the need to tackle it.
“Too many elected Republican officials in the United States deny the science of climate change as a matter of political convenience, while Donald Trump remains completely beholden to fossil fuel moguls and is willing to ignore reality when it suits him.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.