German chancellor Angela Merkel has said 19 members of the G20 group have reaffirmed the Paris climate accord as “irreversible” – leaving the US as the odd one out. Mrs Merkel said the final statement from the group of nations’ summit in Hamburg “takes account” of the US position rejecting the landmark climate deal.
US president Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw the US from the agreement.
The Paris accord aims to lower emissions of the greenhouse gases scientists say cause global warming. Mrs Merkel called the US position “regrettable”. Officials did reach a common statement – including the US president – about the other contentious issue at the summit: trade. The statement retains the G20’s long-standing rejection of protectionism.
It also acknowledged that trade must be mutually beneficial and that countries can use “legitimate” trade defences to protect workers and industries against being taken advantage of by trade partners. Mrs Merkel said the G20 summit had achieved “good results in some areas” despite a logjam with the US over climate change.
She said discussions had at times been “difficult”, and added: “I can only call things as they are.”
She pointed to the hard-won agreement on trade, one in which she said “every word was weighed”.