Brussels ministerial shows US still isolated on climate change

(EurActiv, 1 Jul 2019) Ministers from China, Canada and the EU met for a third annual climate summit in Brussels on Friday (28 June), in a format meant to demonstrate that the world continues the climate fight even if America is retreating.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU’s Energy and Climate Action Commissioner,  joined Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and China’s Special Representative on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua in opening the summit, made up of high-level representatives from over 30 countries.

“The EU, Canada and China continue to join forces to encourage global ambition in the implementation of climate action,” Cañete said.

But he noted that there are “political and technical challenges” that need to be overcome.

This is the third tripartite “ministerial on climate action” (MoCA) held in Brussels. The first was convened in 2017 shortly after Trump announced he would take the United States out of the Paris Agreement.

Under the agreement’s rules, the US can’t actually leave until November 2020, and there has been speculation that the exit may never actually take place.

The 2017 ministerial was an effort to quickly signal that other parties would not follow the US out of the Paris Agreement, as the Trump administration had expected. Key to that effort was getting China on board, because in the past Beijing had refused to take any action without Washington matching the efforts.

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EurActiv, 1 Jul 2019: Brussels ministerial shows US still isolated on climate change