US President Donald Trump was looking isolated on the contentious issue of global warming Saturday as the Group of 20 summit of major economic powers was winding down with all other countries calling for the rapid implementation of the Paris climate accord.
“We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris Agreement, moving swiftly towards its full implementation,” according to the G20’s final text, dpa sources say.
Trump announced last month that Washington was bailing out of the 2015 Paris accord on climate change.
The G20 rebuffed a call by Trump to renegotiate the Paris accord, saying its members believe the agreement is “irreversible.”
“We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” the communique reads pointedly.
Along with trade, climate change has been one of the most divisive issues at the two-day summit, with G20 officials working around the clock in a bid to forge agreement on the two questions.
Earlier in the day, the G20 leaders agreed to maintain the fight against protectionism and promote trade, but also found a way to accommodate Trump’s America First economic nationalist agenda, according to a final statement seen by dpa.
“We will keep markets open, noting the importance of reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade and investment frameworks and the principle of non-discrimination,” the final statement reads.
The communique goes on to say that the leaders, whose countries represent 85 per cent of the world’s economic activity, “will continue to fight protectionism, including all unfair trade practices, and recognize the role of legitimate trade defence instruments in this regard.”
But at the same time, the group acknowledged “the role of legitimate defence instruments in trade,” the text reads.
This was the language necessary to win Trump’s approval and gives backing to some attempts to fight against trade practices that seem unfair.
The G20 summit also called for action by its members – notably China – to reduce overcapacity in its steel sector amid threats from the US to impose sanctions, part of the moves to stop dumping in the nation and reduce steel imports.
“We commit to further strengthen G20 trade and investment cooperation,” the final communique says.
Trump has sharply criticised recent trade deals and globalization, claiming they has cost American jobs.
But in their final statement, the G20 leaders say: “International trade and investment are important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development.”
The G20 summit has been held against the backdrop of a raft of world leaders – including Chinese President XI Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – strongly backing free trade and warning about the economic fallout from protectionism.
Leaders also called for a crackdown on human traffickers as part of their efforts to face up to the global refugee crisis, according to the G20 summit’s final statement seen by dpa.
“We commit to countering migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings and we are determined to take action against people smugglers and traffickers,” the statement reads.