G7 leaders divided on climate change
- Author: Leroy Wright May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 21:08
The announcement on the final day of the US president's first worldwide trip comes after he declined to commit to staying in the sweeping climate deal, resisting intense global pressure from his peers at the summit.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into the talks championing the benefits of free trade and action on climate change, as well as inclusive growth and gender equality, which are expected to be the main themes of the G7 summit that Canada is hosting in the Charlevoix region of Quebec next year.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who chaired the meeting, said the other six "won't change our position on climate change one millimeter".
"The U.S.is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change. and thus is not in the position to join consensus on these topics", the communique read.
Mr Macron said he told the US President that it was "indispensable for the reputation of the United States and the interest of the Americans themselves that the United States remain committed" to the Paris agreement.
"My husband worked very hard on this trip and I am very proud of him", she said.
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Council President Donald Tusk, right, watch the Frecce Tricolori Italian Air Force acrobatic squadron performing, in Taormina, Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017.
In its final communique, G7 leaders said USA officials are "in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics". This will put him in an opposing role against the climate change pledge.
European leaders made little attempt to hide their frustration, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel describing discussions on climate change at the gathering in Sicily as "very unsatisfying". The final G-7 statement expresses "understanding" for the US review process.
The leaders also agreed on two other topics: closer co-operation against terrorism in the wake of the concert bombing in Manchester that killed 22 people, and on the possibility of putting more sanctions against Russia over its conflict with Ukraine if Russian behaviour requires that.
"Trump agreed that the fight against protectionism should be in the final statement", a G7 source said.
The embrace of Middle Eastern autocrats and criticism of longtime European allies has drawn strong criticism from foreign policy leaders of both parties, to say nothing of the reception Trump received in the European media.
Almost every nation that signed the 2015 agreement, including the six other G-7 members, has agreed to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Trump's pending review of US climate policies has left environmentalists bracing for the possibility of bland G-7 promises that say little after years of increasingly stronger commitments to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Under Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China, Washington has resisted intense pressure from its partners to commit to respecting the 2015 global accord on curbing carbon emissions.
Earlier Saturday, the other six members of the G-7, a group of some of the world's wealthiest nations, voted to abide by the Paris climate agreement, according to a person familiar with the talks.