The G7 summit ends without U.S. commitment on Paris agreement
- Nick Mcbride
'I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!' Trump tweeted on the final day of a G7 summit in Italy, at which he refused to bow to pressure from allies to back the landmark agreement.
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. "His basis for decision is ultimately going to be what's best for the United States". "We do not disguise this division".
Trump could withdraw the USA from the treaty that underpins the Paris deal, which is called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The other six nations in the Group of Seven agreed to stick with their commitment to implement the 2015 Paris deal that aims to slow down global warming.
The Associated Press recently spoke to two dozen climate scientists and consulted a computer model created to predict the potential impact; it found that Trump's move would make a bad situation markedly worse and make it harder to stop the world crossing a perilous global temperature threshold.
"The entire discussion about climate was very hard, if not to say very dissatisfying", Merkel told reporters.
"We have put forward a lot of arguments" in favour of the Paris deal, she said. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is among those advocating for the U.S.to stay with the deal, said this past week that Trump wouldn't decide on the issue until he returns to the U.S. The delay provided opportunity for G-7 leaders and Pope Francis to press Trump to honor the U.S.'s environmental commitments.
The violent scenes came at the end of summit which also finished in division.
In 2015, German chancellor Angela Merkel convinced other leaders to pledge full decarbonisation of their economies - effectively ending fossil fuel use - by the end of the century.
Disappointment over the Paris Agreement was countered by relief when Trump agreed on Saturday to language in the final G7 communique that pledged "to fight all forms of protectionism" and committed to a rules-based global trade system. In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the G7 summit, Trump said America is reviewing its climate policies, even though the other G7 members remain committed to the Paris Agreement. "Look, as you know from the USA, there's very strong views on both sides".
But it's now unclear whether the meetings will still take place if the commander in chief has already made up his mind. The G7 includes Germany, Britain, Canada, France and Japan. They also called for a demilitarization of "disputed features".
If the USA pulled out, it said, it would lose a seat at discussions and could not make a case for "the most cost-effective greenhouse gas reduction options".
The final communique was just six pages long, against 32 pages a year ago, with diplomats saying the leaders wanted a simpler document to help them reach a wider audience. As a result, the final text was left entirely to leaders to discuss.
Mattis said that as defense secretary, such negotiations were "not inside my portfolio", but added: "Obviously we deal with the aspects of a warming climate in the Department of Defense, and to us, that's just another one of the many factors we deal with which we call the physical environment".
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