The United States is not becoming an international pariah when it comes to climate change, but the President himself is. Individual states are breaking away from the federal government and working with European and Chinese leaders on making sure the Paris agreement is upheld. The Tweeter-in-Chief is finding life post-Paris to be quite lonely.
Almost everyone in the Trump administration is also rapidly being subjected to global ridicule – and Scott Pruitt, the head of the now deeply ironically-named Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has arguably received the worst of it. He’s just returned from a G7 meeting of Environment Ministers in Bologna in Italy, and it’s safe to say that it’s not gone that well.
One of the most notorious climate change deniers in the government and a longstanding opponent of the Paris accords, he is widely seen as one of the key architects behind Trump’s decision to extricate the country from the most cooperative international framework in human history. As such, his reception at the meeting of ministers early this week was decidedly frosty.
The first signs of trouble came as soon as the festivities had commenced, with Pruitt slipping away at the end of the very first session. Pruitt later tweeted that he “spent meaningful time with [his] G7 counterparts,” adding that “engagement is essential.” Once again, it seems irony is this man’s forte.
The remaining G6 spent the rest of the time discussing the Paris agreement and their progress on the most serious of environmental issues. Tellingly, the final communiqué released by these six nations – an official summary of the days’ events and proceedings – does not mention America at all in the main text.
“The Environment Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, and European Commissioners responsible for environment and climate reaffirm strong commitment to the swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement,” it reads at one point.
It adds that the agreement is “irreversible,” and that it is “key for the security and prosperity of our planet, societies, and economies.”
The Home of the Brave only appears as a mediocre footnote, which quietly notes that the US disagrees with the G6, as clearly demonstrated by its breathtaking withdrawal from the Paris agreement.
“The United States will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities,” the footnote meekly adds.
For his part, the EPA head honcho issued his own statement which painted a considerably different picture: “US Formally Joins Communiqué, Reaching Consensus On Important Environmental Issues,” it reads.
Well, at least no-one will ever argue that Pruitt doesn’t have a phenomenally active imagination.