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President Trump Waffling on Climate Change Creates Divide Between US, Allies

28 May 2017

The annual Group of Seven (G7) meeting is being held in a chic Sicilian resort town, with Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, gently smoking in the background and the Mediterranean Sea gleaming beneath the cliffs. And then there was the chat among the G7 leaders. The U.K. hadn't yet voted to leave the European Union. Macron won the French presidency on May 7.

In a May 23 letter to Trump from 10 state attorneys general, West Virginia's attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, wrote, "Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is an important and necessary step toward reversing the harmful energy policies and unlawful overreach of the Obama era".

The G7 has been a champion of free trade since its inception. Only five of NATO's 28 members meet the target: Britain, Estonia, debt-laden Greece, Poland and the United States, which spends more on defense than all the other allies combined.

The 2016 statement also expressed support for the recently agreed nuclear deal with Iran as an opportunity for it to "reengage with the global community".

"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. The event ended with a 32-page communique plus six annexes covering everything from terrorism to global health.

Trump also going against the grain on trade, taking a more protectionist stand.

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There is no evidence that money has begun to "pour in" - and countries do not pay the USA or North Atlantic Treaty Organisation directly.

Other G-7 nations leaned heavily on Trump to stay in the deal, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying "we put forward very many arguments".

"There is one open question, which is the US position on the Paris climate accords".

"You have to say that there is no common support for an important worldwide agreement", she said at a press conference, before leaving for the airport. He's spending time on the Paris agreement. Much has been kicked down the road to the G-20 summit in Hamburg, which Merkel will host in July.

But there was no chance for journalists to question Trump, who broke with G7 protocol by not holding a news conference. "We will have a very robust discussion on trade".

Trump, during the Group of 7 (G7) summit this week in Sicily, Italy, was the only leader within the group of nations not to recommit to the accord.

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German chancellor Angela Merkel admitted her discussion with Mr Trump had been "a very hard, not to say very unsatisfactory. meaning there is still no sign of whether the United States will remain in the Paris accord or not", she said.

After a two-day summit in Italy, French President Emmanuel Macron had warm words for Donald Trump, despite the fact the USA president did not join in with other Group of Seven nations in supporting the Paris accord on fighting global warming.

"From increased tidal flooding, to worsening droughts, to longer wildfire seasons, communities across the USA are already experiencing the costly and harmful impacts of climate change".

"While upholding the human rights of all migrants and refugees, we reaffirm the sovereign rights of states, individually and collectively, to control their own borders and to establish policies in their own national interest and national security", it said.

"The threat has entered a new stage (as North Korea tests missiles and nuclear weapons). there is a danger it can spread like a contagious disease", Abe said. Speaking to a crowd of oil rig workers last May, Trump vowed to "cancel" the agreement.

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