HAMBURG -UNS – Leaders of 19 nations at the G20 summit in Germany have renewed their pledge to implement the Paris deal on climate change, despite the US pulling out.
Deadlock over the issue had held up the last day of talks in Hamburg but a final agreement was eventually reached.
It acknowledges President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement without undermining the commitment of other countries.
The compromise comes after violent protests in the host city.
The joint summit statement released on Saturday said: “We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”
However, the leaders of the other G20 members agreed the accord was “irreversible”.
The statement also said the US would “endeavour to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently”.
Mr Trump has pledged to help the US coal industry make a comeback and has previously characterised the Paris agreement as aiming to disadvantage his country’s workers.
In a news conference as the two-day summit drew to a close, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she still deplored Mr Trump’s position on the Paris accord but she was “gratified” the other 19 nations opposed its renegotiation.
As well as insisting on the inclusion of separate America-only paragraphs in the final text, Mr Trump cancelled his own scheduled news conference on Saturday, reinforcing the image of the G20 as the G19 + 1, reports the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent James Robbins.
It has been divisive summit in which the rest of the world has been struggling to come to terms with the US president’s “America first” policy, our correspondent says.
Where do we go from here?
“I think it’s very clear that we could not reach consensus, but the differences were not papered over, they were clearly stated,” Mrs Merkel told reporters.
She said she did not share the view of UK Prime Minister Theresa May that Washington could decide to return to the climate agreement.
But Mrs May reiterated her belief that the US could rejoin the accord in her news conference on Saturday.