US Won’t Commit to Climate Deal at G-7
The six other nations of the Group of Seven (G-7) agreed to affirm their commitment to the Paris climate agreement, while awaiting a decision by the Trump administration as to whether the U.S. will stay in the pact.
“The United States is evaluating its policy with regard to the climate, so the six other G-7 countries will reaffirm their commitment [to the global Paris accord] while taking note” of the U.S. position, AFP quoted a French official as saying.
U.S. officials have said President Trump, who referred to man-made global warming as a “hoax” during his successful presidential campaign last year, would wait until after the summit before making a decision on the issue.
Trump “is taking in what he learned from world leaders” Friday to make his decision on whether to honor Washington’s commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement signed two years ago, according to the president’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn.
The leaders had a “very good discussion” about climate issues, British Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters Friday, adding there was “no doubt around the table” — which included Trump — about how important the issue is.
WATCH: Steve Herman reports from the G-7 summit in Italy
G-7 leaders were able to reach agreement on another contentious issue: free trade. The summit’s communique on trade will include language opposing trade protectionism.
Ahead of the meeting, officials from several G-7 countries expressed concern about U.S. rhetoric regarding trade, particularly after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. reserved the right to be protectionist if it thought trade was not free or fair.
Trump, as part of his “America first” doctrine, frequently asserts that the U.S. has gotten poor terms in global trade agreements and threatened to fight back with tariffs and other policies that favor domestic companies and workers.
African leaders join summit to discuss migration
On the second and final day of the G-7 summit, host country Italy wants to draw attention to the migration crisis and the dangerous Mediterranean crossings taken by tens of thousands of people looking for a better life in Europe.
Leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia are involved in Saturday’s talks, as those are the main countries of origin for migrants trying to reach Europe.
North Korea problem
Sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said just before the start of Friday’s summit that it would have a “particular focus on the North Korea problem.”
A White House statement issued Friday said the two leaders have reaffirmed their commitment “to cooperate to the fullest extent possible to counter terrorist threats” and have agreed to “enhance sanctions on North Korea” in an attempt to deter the development of North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
While terrorism would also be a primary concern for the leaders during their two days of talks on the Italian island, North Korea’s nuclear weapons testing and ballistic missile development comprise “a big problem, it’s a world problem,” said Trump. “It will be solved at some point. It will be solved, you can bet on that.”
Juncker denies Trump called Germany ‘very bad’
Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the 28-member European Commission that manages the day-to-day business of the European Union, on Friday denied media reports that Trump in a closed-door meeting in Brussels Friday denounced Germany as “very bad” for its trade policies.
“He did not say that the Germans were behaving badly,” Juncker said, adding German reports are not true that the U.S. president had been aggressive toward Germany.
Along with the United States, the other members of the G-7 are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain. The EU is also represented.