Trump wins key G20 concessions

US President Donald Trump won key concessions on climate and trade from world leaders at the most fractious G20 summit to date, in exchange for preserving the unity of the club of major industrialised and emerging economies.

In a final statement agreed by all 20 economies, 19 members including Russia, China and the European Union acknowledged Mr Trump’s decision to go his own way on taking the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

But they also accommodated Washington’s wish to “work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently”.

media_cameraGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump. Picture: Getty

While renewing a key anti-protectionist pledge, the communique for the first time underlined the right of countries to protect their markets with “legitimate trade defence instruments”.

Such wording gives room for Mr Trump to push on with his “America First” policy.

Carried on a wave of public fury over deindustrialisation in vast areas of the United States, Mr Trump had promised to “Buy American” and “Hire American”.

But that stance had set him against many of America’s allies, who warned Mr Trump against an isolationist path.

Nevertheless, the wording of the final agreement marked the group of top economies’ decision to finally close ranks despite bitter differences.


Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement.

Speaking at a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Mr Putin said that “we honour the Paris agreement.”

He added that Russia has made decisions related to the implementation of the deal and intends to implement them.

Mr Macron hailed Mr Putin’s pledge as “very important.”

media_cameraGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel poses with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (C). Picture: AFP

Mr Putin praised the G20 for finding a way forward on climate change.

“One of the very important subjects was climate change. And here, the German presidency managed to find an optimal compromise,” said Mr Putin.

Mr Macron said a summit on climate change would be held on December 12, two years after the landmark Paris accord.

Russia, the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was among the 195 countries that signed the 2015 Paris agreement but it delayed its ratification for at least two years.

Russia’s carbon emissions reduction goals are very modest, and it also insisted that it be given the maximum potential credit for carbon adsorbed out of the atmosphere by vast Siberian forests.


media_cameraUS President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R). Picture: AFP

Mr Trump told Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that “something has to be done” on North Korea, as they held talks at the G20 summit in Germany.

“It may take longer than I’d like, it may take longer that you’d like,” Trump said, “but there will be success in the end, one way or the other.”

Originally published as Trump wins key G20 concessions

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