Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump delays decision on Paris climate accord

The final communique issued at the G7 summit in Italy said the U.S. "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".

Trump tweeted he would decide on Paris next week.

Introduced to the stage by his wife Melania, Trump announced that his discussions during the trip had "further isolated the Iranian regime over its hostile and destabilizing actions", and stated that he "was deeply encouraged to hear from leaders of many Muslim and Arab nations that they are willing to take on a greater role in combating terrorism".

(AP Photo/Luca Bruno). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Council President Donald Tusk, right, watch the Frecce Tricolori Italian Air Force acrobatic squadron performing, in Taormina, Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017.

He notes that the American people chose Trump and adds, "so we are coming to terms with this choice". But even on this, Macron sought to put an optimistic spin on things, describing the two-days of wrangling as "progress" and refusing to enter into a "logic of six against one". Trade was a big topic, with Cohn saying the United States' guiding principle will be "we will treat you the way you treat us", suggesting that retaliatory tariffs could be imposed. But since taking office, Trump has not moved to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement.

And up for debate, the peril of climate change and the urgency of USA commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emission, NPR reported.

"There have been differences, to be sure, in some past summits, but not a sharp open split like this, " he said.

To the White House, Trump's first trip overseas was an embodiment of the promises he made as a candidate to put America's interests first and break through the guardrails that have long defined US foreign policy.

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The leaders of Tunisia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Niger and Nigeria's acting president joined the talks on Saturday morning, along with the heads of the African Union, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The final G-7 statement expresses "understanding" for the US review process.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is also in Sicily for the meeting, earlier said that the accord would survive regardless of Mr Trump's position.

The G7 has been a champion of free trade since its inception.

Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily.

Macron also said he wanted to hold a summit soon with the leaders of Russia, Germany and Ukraine over the Ukraine crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says G-7 talks on climate change were "unsatisfactory".

The White House has repeatedly promised a decision on the Paris Agreement only to delay as the issue continued to divide Trump's advisers.

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This year, climate change was so politically fraught that the text would be discussed by the leaders on Friday, one source said. He's interested to hear what the G7 leaders have to say about climate. "Trip has been very successful".

"I was here in Sicily to attend very important summit meetings - the meeting of the G7".

Instead of following presidential tradition by making his global debut in a neighboring democracy like Canada or Mexico, Trump flew to Saudi Arabia, the repressive desert kingdom.

That, they say, explains the confrontational rhetoric despite the administration having yet to define exactly what it plans to do on either of those issues.

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week", Trump tweeted.

Cohn also said "His basis for decision ultimately is going to be what's best for the United States,".

Trump's pending review of US climate policies has left environmentalists bracing for the possibility of bland G-7 promises that say little after years of increasingly stronger commitments to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

That idea was shot down ahead of the meeting. The U.S.A is the only country not to sign the support pledge (as of now).

The source adds that G-7 members were still wrestling over a statement on trade and whether it would condemn protectionism, as previous group statements have.

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