Trump holds off climate change pact, will make decision 'next week'

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

Even if a decision is not forthcoming, European diplomats expect their leaders to push Trump hard on the Paris emissions deal, which has comprehensive support across the continent.

"The United States is considering its position in relation to these matters and what its policy is going to be, but there was no doubt around the table about how important this issue on climate change is", May said.

However, diplomats stressed there was broad agreement on an array of foreign policy problems, including the renewal of a threat to slap further economic sanctions on Russian Federation if its interference in neighboring Ukraine demanded it.

Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor of Germany, specifically mentioned how other G7 countries lobbied Trump to keep America in the Paris Agreement, which was implemented to cut back on carbon emissions.

The next G7 summit will be held in Canada. The position makes the United States the lone holdout on endorsing the agreement during the G7 summit in Italy.

Despite disagreements on the climate goals, G7 leaders has demonstrated unity on the issues of worldwide trade and security.

He says "the threat has entered a new stage" as North Korea tests missiles and nuclear weapons.

"Having been a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officer, under President Bush and President Obama, and then having been back there in Brussels representing the Department of Defense under President Trump...this is a consistent message that we have given the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations", said Mattis.

The summit of G7 wealthy nations pitted Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they had hoped were long settled.

Below is a statement from Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and a leading expert on the United Nation's worldwide climate negotiations process.

"His views are evolving, he came here to learn and get smarter", Gary Cohn, national economic council director, said Friday of the president's thinking.

"There have been differences, to be sure, in some past summits, but not a sharp open split like this", he said.

He had given some ground, agreeing to language in the final G7 communique about fighting protectionism and promoting free trade - language which may infuriate his supporters at home who voted for his ' America first' vision. "Look, as you know from the US, there's very strong views on both sides".

If that holds, Trump will break with presidential precedent by not holding at least one lengthy question-and-answer session with the press while overseas.

Trump took part in the ceremonial spectacle of the summit over the two days, this time at a picturesque Sicilian town above the Mediterranean Sea. "The United States is evaluating its policy with regard to the climate, so the six other G7 countries will reaffirm their commitment (to the Paris accord) while taking note" of the USA position, a senior official told reporters. The last G-7 meeting in Ise-Shima, Japan in 2016 agreed to "fight all forms of protectionism", or the use of import taxes and regulations to favor domestic producers over imports.

  • Carolyn Briggs