The G7 summit ended up being particularly tumultuous this past weekend, intensifying disputes between the US and its closest allies and turning what is usually a staid diplomatic event into a battleground for national interests.
The United States and Japan both refrained from signing the charter, which calls on countries to reduce single-use plastics, prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans, clean up existing plastic pollution, and invest in technologies for monitoring the impacts of the problem.
The G7 Ocean Plastics Charter was signed by representatives from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Britain, and the European Union, all of whom vowed to join the global fight against plastic waste.
A footnote in the document clarifies the US position.
“The United States strongly supports healthy oceans, seas, and resilient coastal communities,” the statement reads. “The United States has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and reserves on the climate-related language in the Blueprint.”
It’s unclear why Japan chose not to sign the measure, according to the Globe and Mail.
Canada, as the host country, committed $100 million to fight plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, the Globe and Mail reports.