Saturday, May 27, 2017

'Unprecedented' G-7 Failure To Reach Consensus On Climate Change, Merkel Furious, Macron Erupts On World Stage

Merkel Furious With Trump After "Unprecedented" G-7 Failure To Reach Consensus On Climate Change

In the end it was not mean to be. As discussed on Friday, during Trump's first G-7 summit, world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron, had hoped to persuade the the US president to endorse the Paris Agreement climate pledge to fight global warming. By the end of the summit - held at a luxury hotel in Taormina, Sicily that was once a Dominican monastery and base for the Nazi air force during World War Two - they realized they had failed, as Trump "underscored his determination to break the global mold" by refusing to follow the Group of Seven line not only on global warming but also by resisting measures on trade.

Furthermore, in what was described as an "unprecedented step", the final G-7 communique gave the U.S. its own section to say that it is “undergoing a review process” and is unable to join in the discussion, an official cited by Bloomberg said. As a result while the US will remain excluded from the final affirmation, the other six, call it the G-6,will recommit to the Paris Agreement on climate change, which Trump tweeted Saturday he’d come to a decision on next week.

Needless to say, Merkel who had hoped to leave the Saturday summit with the G-7 agenda endorsed by everyone, including Trump, was furious at the US president.

“The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory"  German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters Saturday. "Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one. That means there are no signals until now whether the U.S. will remain in the Paris Agreement or not. We have therefore not talked around it but made clear that we the six member states and the EU remain committed to the goals of the agreement.”

The unhappy German continued: "The fact that we have not been able to make progress here is of course a situation in which you have to say that there is no common support for an important international agreement. This Paris Agreement is not simply any old agreement, but it’s rather a core agreement.”

She concluded by noting the unprecedented breach of agreement within the ranks, perhaps a first in G-7 history “There is right now no agreement. But we have made very clear that we are not moving away from our positions.”

Moments later, the final declaration released a just as stunning statement, which said that the U.S. was "not in a position to join consensus" on climate change.

BREAKING: Group of Seven final declaration says U.S. "not in a position to join consensus" on climate change.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) May 27, 2017

President Donald Trump said Saturday he would decide next week whether the United States would abide by the 2015 Paris agreement on cutting global carbon emissions.
The unexpected announcement came as a summit of G7 leaders in Sicily wrapped up in deadlock on the issue, with US partners voicing frustration at the president's failure to commit to the deal aimed at stemming global warming.
"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" Trump tweeted.
The US leader, concluding his first overseas trip in office, was due to fly home later Saturday without giving the customary close-of-summit press conference.
The meeting's final declaration reflected a stalemate between the US and the six other participating countries, who are all strongly committed to the Paris accord.
"The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics," it stated.
"Understanding this process, the (other participants) reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised what she called "a very difficult, not to say very unsatisfactory" discussion with Trump on the issue.
"Here we have a situation of six against one, meaning there is still no sign of whether the US will remain in the Paris accord or not," she said.
Other delegates concurred that it was "six against one" at the gathering of leading democracies spanning North America, Europe and Japan.
Under Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China, Washington has resisted intense pressure from its partners to commit to respecting the global 2015 accord on curbing carbon emissions.

On a sun-kissed terrace overlooking the sea, the image of Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau staring into each other’s eyes had social media swooning over the budding bromance between the two young leaders at the Group of Seven in Sicily.
But just 24 hours earlier in Brussels, Macron had crushed Donald Trump’s hand until his knuckles turned white and walked past the U.S. president to embrace German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the blue NATO welcome carpet.
At his debut on the world stage, the new French president revealed a steeliness that belies his 39 years and relative inexperience. There was the power play with Trump when during the war of handshakes he spoke at some length in French with no translator. He then spoke English with Theresa May, offering cooperation in light of the U.K. terror attack, while not ceding an inch on the prime minister’s request for parallel Brexit talks.

To be sure, Macron remains firmly in his honeymoon period and has a raft of challenges ahead -- he leads a country divided and drew much of his support from voters looking to stop Marine Le Pen. He’s inheriting an unemployment rate roughly double that of the U.K. and Germany, an economy that has lagged the euro-area average for three years and will need to cobble together some kind of majority after parliamentary elections next month.

Nonetheless, for Macron, three days of hanging out with many of the world’s most influential players from the new NATO headquarters to the ancient hill-top town of Taormina helped set the style and tone for his five-year presidency.

Macron appeared to form a special bond with Trudeau, with television cameras lingering on the two Generation Xers strolling down the hill conversing in French while Trump, at 70 the oldest G-7 leader, stayed behind to wait for a golf cart to give him a lift through the narrow cobbled streets.

1 comment:

Caver said...

Hummmmm....Our new French President gets more and more interesting. His brashness and rudeness makes even Trump appear shy and demur by comparison.