Climate Disagreement Clouding G-20 Summit

Climate Disagreement Clouding G-20 Summit, by David Boecking.

Things aren’t going well when it comes to climate change at the summit in Hamburg – not even in the program organized for the spouses of the G-20 leaders. In a barely concealed jab at the U.S. government, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s husband Joachim Sauer had arranged for a visit to the German Climate Computing Center. …

U.S. President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement a month ago. The move has created a conflict within the G-20 group of the world’s largest economies — and it is a rift that not even the most sophisticated summit diplomacy can cover up. One can “directly address differences,” Merkel said in her brief opening address. But the real question is whether there is any common ground at all. …

The Americans aren’t just pulling out of the Paris deal — and the increased emphasis on alternative energies that the deal entails — they would also like to continue exporting their CO2-intensive energy production technology to the rest of the G-20. …

The draft declaration states that “heads of state and government of the remaining G-20 member states and the presidents of the European Council and European Commission” agree that the Paris Agreement is “irreversible” and vow to rapidly implement the deal. …

This clear demarcation between the United States and the rest of the G-20 contradicts earlier insistence that a 19:1 split in Hamburg was to be avoided at all costs.

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