G7 summit concludes: Trump refuses to agree to climate-change deal
The conclusion of the annual G7 summit in Sicily on Saturday saw differences crop up between US President Donald Trump and representatives from European nations and Japan. While Trump endorsed his fight against protectionism under pressure from the others, he said he needed time to decide on the global climate accord, much to the irk of European leaders. Let us know more details!
What is the Group of 7?
G7 (previously G8) is a political forum participated in by the world's most industrialized democracies. Founded in 1975, G7 members currently include: France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Italy, US and Canada. Russia was a member until it was expelled in 2014 for the Crimean Aggression.
G7 Summit, 2017
The G7 summit for 2017 was held from 26-27 May at Taormina, Sicily, Italy. It was attended by the leaders of all the 7 members and EU representatives. The 43rd Summit is the first under their term for leaders including Donald Trump, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni. Key issues discussed included free trade, the European migrant crisis and growing terrorism.
Trump vs the others
Compared to his predecessor Barack Obama,Trump has been against principled G7 positions on free trade and climate change. While his America First policy is built around protectionism, he has termed climate change a hoax and has threatened to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
The G7 Communique- Climate change is the sore thumb
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, termed the discussion on climate change as "unsatisfactory" and termed it a six against one situation. While six G7 nations pledged to implement measures to address climate change, the final official statement acknowledged US objections, stating it is in the process of reviewing its policies. Joint endorsements were made in the areas of free trade and terrorism.
What does this mean?
Trump's stance on climate change is emerging as a major crack in the G7, with six countries strongly in favour and the US opposed to it. It could be taken to indicate a rocky road ahead for G7 and possibly even a US expulsion, taking from Russia's case in 2014. Moreover, US withdrawal erodes the agreement's credibility prompting other nations to do the same.