G7 leaders turn gaze to Africa, climate harmony elusive

"The Paris accord, created in 2015 after lengthy negotiations, calls on 196 nations to ratchet back greenhouse gas emissions".

The final G-7 statement issued after two days of haggling in the Italian seaside town of Taormina said the U.S.

Recounting what they described as successes over the past week, they noted pledges by Arab countries - made during Trump's first stop in Saudi Arabia - to step up their coordination in the fight against terrorism, including a renewed crackdown on militant financing and ending destructive Iranian activity in the region.

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" announced the US President on his Twitter account.

"The world will not stand idly by whilst Donald Trump takes a wrecking ball to global efforts to prevent catastrophic climate change - one of the biggest challenges the world faces".

The delay from the U.S.is being seen as an area for concern for advocates of worldwide action to confront climate change.

"I hope they decide in the right way", said Italy's prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni.

Macron, the newly elected French president, was critical of Trump's threats to pull out of the Paris deal during his own campaign.

"I think Trump will ultimately agree to remain part of the Paris Agreement, but he will want to present it as a victory and so he will probably demand other countries make some concessions on rules or funding or emissions reduction goals of something like that", John Kirton, director of the G-7 Research Group at the University of Toronto, told Xinhua.

A source at the Group of Seven summit says the seven wealthy democracies have reached a deal to give the Trump administration time to tell them whether the United States plans to stay in the Paris climate agreement.

The G-7 leaders had better luck finding agreement on the other problematic topic at the summit, trade. Still, said the third, the document in its current draft clearly falls back in comparison to earlier G-7 communiques.

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While the "all forms" construction, which appeared in last year's G7 statement, was not revived, the new communiqué stated: "We reiterate our commitment to keep our markets open and to fight protectionism, while standing firm against all unfair trade practices". His Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, says the United States reserves the right to be protectionist if trade arrangements are unfair to USA companies and workers.

President Donald Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will be stronger because member countries have increased payments "considerably".

His announcement came as a summit of Group of Seven (G-7) leaders in Sicily wrapped up in deadlock on the issue, with United States partners voicing frustration at the President's failure to commit to the deal aimed at stemming global warming.

The leaders also agreed on two other topics: closer co-operation against terrorism in the wake of the concert bombing in Manchester that killed 22 people, and on the possibility of putting more sanctions against Russia over its conflict with Ukraine if Russian behaviour requires that.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, agreed.

He says: "There have been differences, to be sure, in some past summits, but not a sharp open split like this".

Trump promised on the campaign trail to "cancel" the Paris Agreement arguing that it hurts US energy interests, but actually exiting the deal has proven more complicated than Trump portrayed it on the campaign trail. European leaders have been pressuring Trump to stay in the accord during their meetings with him this week, arguing that America's leadership on climate is crucial.

U.S. President Donald Trump underscored his determination to break the global mold as he refused to followed the Group of Seven line on global warming and resisted measures on free trade.

The G7 is an informal gathering that meets every year under a rotating chairmanship. Its decisions are not binding as an global treaty would be, simply representing the leaders' political commitment to carry through on their collective decisions.

The G-7 includes the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

  • Adam Floyd