World leaders at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany have agreed to a joint statement they plan to release to the public, outlining policy positions and commitments.
Well, all but one of the world leaders anyway.
An official told Reuters that aides had worked late into the night to finalize the statement on behalf of the summit, convincing the U.S. to agree to language on fighting protectionism — President Donald Trump has emphasized an “America First” policy and threatened tariffs for goods coming from other countries.
But the U.S. delegation held up the release of the statement because it did not sign off on language regarding fossil fuels and climate change. In fact, the other 19 world leaders have agreed to the statement, leaving only Trump and U.S. officials in disagreement.
Here's the key section of the G-20 communique that notes all nations except the U.S. agree that the Paris climate accord is irreversible. pic.twitter.com/xyjtX1Fbru
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 8, 2017
German Prime Minister Angela Merkel said the U.S.’s position on climate change was “regrettable.”
The move comes after Trump said the U.S. would leave the Paris Climate Accord last month. Around 200 nations signed onto the climate deal, with only Nicaragua and Syria not participating — Nicaragua said the deal wasn’t strict enough.
Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were absent from a G20 meeting on climate change on Friday, the first day of the Summit, as they held a private meeting for more than 90 minutes.
The move reflects Trump’s repeated rejection of the scientific consensus on climate change and use of fossil fuels, and has promised a recommitment to the coal industry,
In the U.S., the Trump administration’s EPA leader, Scott Pruitt, spent much of his career as Oklahoma attorney general suing the agency, and it’s Energy Secretary, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, has contradicted science on carbon dioxide’s role in climate change.