G7 summit ends in deadlock over climate change

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

The gathering of leaders from the wealthiest democracies in the world ended without a unanimous agreement on climate change, as the USA said it wanted to take more time to decide whether to stay on with the Paris accord - or back out, as Trump had promised to do on the campaign trail.

Trump met with world leaders this week at the G7 Summit in Sicily where many set out to lobby the United States president over staying committed to the climate agreement.

Although he tweeted that he would make a decision next week, his apparent reluctance to embrace the first legally binding global climate deal that was signed by 195 countries clearly annoyed German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, President Trump, who in the past has exuded skepticism about climate change and threatened to pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement, tweeted on Saturday that he would make a decision about the climate accord next week.

President Donald Trump delayed the United States's commitment to fight climate change through an ambitious worldwide agreement that his counterparts in the group of G7 nations eagerly adopted.

"The whole discussion about climate has been hard, or rather very unsatisfactory", Merkel told reporters after the summit.

World leaders had hoped to put out a statement of consensus on the Paris Agreement which is created to cut global carbon emissions but Mr Trump took to social media to say he would make up his mind next week. Trump has said he would give world leaders the chance to make their case for the accord.

Axios adds that it's possible Trump will impulsively change his mind, as he has done after telling people he would do something in the past, and also points out that all Trump's options for withdrawing from the deal would require as much as a year to carry through on, will allows for some additional uncertainty.

The G7 countries are: Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, the USA, and the UK.

The U.S. had crippled the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the predecessor to the Paris Agreement, when it refused to ratify it.

The White House had hoped to use Trump's five-stop trip as a moment to reset.

"It would be taken as a statement that climate change is not a problem; is not real", said Graham, who has previously spoken about climate change being caused by humans.

In a statement, Gary Cohn, one of Trump's senior economic advisors, said the talks in Taormina were having an impact on the US president.

"He came here to get smarter", Cohn said. "The United States, however, is undergoing a review process".

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama's numerous calls for US President Donald Trump not abandon the Paris Agreement will be answered this week.

The world without USA efforts would have a far more hard time avoiding a risky threshold: keeping the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Almost 200 countries had pledged support to reduce carbon emissions in the landmark global warming deal.

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