Friday, July 7, 2017

G20 Summit: Climate Change Diplomacy in the Age of Trump Gets Complicated

Leaders of the world's largest economic powers will have a chance this weekend to show whether President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement strengthened their resolve to act on climate change—or whether it opened cracks in their solidarity.

If no separate climate action plan is approved by the
G20 members, that would be a statement that the U.S.
has shaken unity on global climate action
The G20 summit in Hamburg is the first top-level diplomatic gathering of all the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases since Trump's announcement, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the host, has pledged to put climate change high on the agenda.
"We cannot wait until every last person on Earth has been convinced of the scientific proof," Merkel said in a speech last week.

Even though a host of other contentious issues—trade, migration, North Korea's nuclear ambitions, and the fraught relationship between the U.S. and Russia—are likely to get more attention, Merkel has virtually guaranteed that the meeting will include a litmus test on climate fortitude. After she assumed her one-year presidency of the G20 in December, she set up a sustainability working group that has developed a detailed policy roadmap for the nations to slash carbon emissions. That G20 action plan will be before the group in Hamburg. Together, the G20 countries are responsible for 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gas pollution.

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