Merkel to battle Trump on climate
The summit was set to be dominated by Trump’s first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin since the tycoon won power.
Merkel made it clear that as host she intended to defend the Paris climate agreement, from which Trump removed his support this month.
Trump will head to Warsaw for a summit of central European leaders likely to include Hungarian nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, a day before the G20.
“We cannot and will not wait for every last person on Earth to be convinced by the scientific evidence for climate change,” Merkel told the Bundestag in surprisingly blunt language.
“The Paris agreement is irreversible and non-negotiable and I am determined to carry out the negotiations at the G20 summit so that they can serve the Paris climate agreement.”
As host, Merkel sets the agenda for the summit, telling fellow parliamentarians that other European G20 leaders were prepared unite against Trump on the issue.
“The European Union unconditionally stands by its agreement in Paris and will implement it. Since the US decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, we are more determined than ever to make it a success,” she said. “Anyone who believes the problems of this world can be solved with isolationism and protectionism is a making a huge mistake.”
The veteran chancellor said she was determined to “send a signal”.
Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel stressed the importance of Europe facing up to the US with confidence. “We do not want to forcefully separate the US from Europe. But what we don’t want either is to appear like an appendage of US policies,” Gabriel said.
This week Merkel met the other European G20 leaders, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, in Berlin to agree a common position.
Merkel and Macron have promised a renewed drive to deepen cooperation within the EU and eurozone. She said that far from being weakened by Brexit, the bloc must increase unity.
Germany has rejected a request by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to address ethnic Turks in Germany on the sidelines of the summit.
Bilateral relations have becoming increasingly acrimonious amid disputes over Turkey’s mass arrests of alleged state enemies since the botched July 15 coup last year.
Cooler than the climate: Merkel and Trump. Picture credit: Wikimedia