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G20 statement: All countries except US agree Paris climate deal is irreversible

France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced a summit on climate change for December 12.

world Updated: Jul 08, 2017 22:07 IST
Agencies, Hamburg
G20 Summit,G20 Summit 2017,Germany
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during the final press conference on the second day of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. L(AFP)

A final statement agreed on Saturday by the leaders of the Group of 20 economic powers exposed a divide between the United States and other G20 members on the Paris climate accord aimed at combating climate change.

In a final statement agreed by all 20 economies, 19 members including Russia, China and the European Union acknowledged Trump’s decision to go his own way on taking the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

“We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” the communique read. “The leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible.”

But they also accommodated Washington’s wish to “work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently”.

On trade, another sticking point during a two-day summit in Hamburg, the leaders agreed they would “fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices and recognise the role of legitimate trade defence instruments in this regard.”

“One of the very important subjects was climate change. And here, the German presidency managed to find an optimal compromise,” said Putin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she was pleased that all Group of 20 members besides the United States had agreed in a communique that the Paris climate accord was irreversible.

“I think it’s very clear that we could not reach consensus, but the differences were not papered over, they were clearly stated,” Merkel told reporters at the end of the two-day meeting.

She said she did not share the view of British Prime Minister Theresa May who said on Friday that she thought Washington could decide to return to the climate agreement.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced a summit on climate change for December 12, two years after the landmark Paris accord.

“On December 12... I will organise a new summit in order to take new action for the climate, including on the issue of financing,” he said after the G20 summit in Hamburg.

First Published: Jul 08, 2017 21:39 IST