Trump promises climate decision next week after G7 stalemate

Compounding the diplomatic damage, Trump upstaged Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni' closing press conference by tweeting that he would next week make his long-anticipated decision on United States observance, or not, of the Paris climate accords.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the climate debate was "controversial" and that the leaders of the other G7 nations - France, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy - all urged Trump to remain a part of the 2015 agreement. "Trade between our countries supports job creation on both sides of the border and the growth of the middle class, and in 2016 was valued at almost $882-billion", Mr. Trudeau's office said in a statement.

Cohn spoke of the most "amazing deals that have really been made by an administration ever" that Trump had clinched in Riyadh, including both private-sector investments and arms sales.

Meyer said many US states, cities, and companies are moving forward on climate action while the Trump administration is "waffling" on the Paris Agreement.

On the issue of climate change, the communique says only six of the leaders, plus European Union leaders, agreed to stand by their commitment to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Will Trump's presidential style shape the G7 summit?

The United States is the world's biggest carbon emitter after China.

Besides reaching a decision on the climate agreement once back in Washington, Trump will also face a new crush of Russia-related controversies.

And European hopes that Trump could be pressured into a more conciliatory stance on trade, climate change and migration at the G7 summit in Sicily were dashed. Instead of following presidential tradition by making his worldwide debut in a neighboring democracy like Canada or Mexico, Trump flew to Saudi Arabia, the repressive desert kingdom. "It is no secret that the leaders meeting [Friday] sometimes have different positions on topics such as climate change and trade". Trump has said he would give world leaders the chance to make their case for the accord.

"His views are evolving, he came here to learn", Trump's economic advisor Gary Cohn declared on Thursday - only to have his remarks immediately reframed by National Security chief H.R. McMaster.

Speaking at the end of the G7 summit, Macron also said he would discuss the Syrian crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin at their planned talks in Versailles outside Paris on Monday. He came here to get smart. This is unfortunate for the world, but it's even worse for the U.S.

Merkel left the summit telling reporters that the climate talks in particular were "very unsatisfactory".

"The mood of Article 5, the idea that we are all in this together, is not the mood he conveyed", said Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"At some juncture other countries are going to get sick of us joining in, pulling out, joining in and pulling out and say, 'Are we really going to work with the USA on this anymore?'" said Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and worldwide affairs at Princeton and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that produces scientific reports meant to inform global policymakers.

Mr. Trump wants a firm commitment to fair trade that benefits the the final communiqué but the G7 countries want him to support a trade system in which World Trade Organization rules are honoured. "His basis for decision is ultimately going to be what's best for the United States". No, he didn't repeat his description of the Belgian capital as a "hellhole", but the contrast between Trump's warm embrace of Saudi autocrats and his awkward interaction with the democratically elected European leaders was hard to miss.

Leaders gathering at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy agreed on a final communique.

The leaders' last summit in Japan previous year stressed the need to avoid protectionism.

In his closing news conference, Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni was unable to hide his disappointment with the lack of agreement.

  • Larry Hoffman