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G20 leaders agree declaration after climate fight

OSAKA, Japan — G20 leaders on Saturday agreed a final declaration after a fight between the EU and U.S. on climate change that risked collapsing the leaders statement.

The text maintains a “similar” commitment to fight climate change as in previous declarations in Buenos Aires and Hamburg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference at the end of the summit.

Under the compromise struck at the last minute on Saturday, heads of state from 19 of the 20 countries backed the Paris agreement, while the United States secured a carve-out under an agree to disagree framework — the same solution as in previous G20s since U.S. President Donald Trump was elected.

Until Saturday morning, the G20 had been at risk of ending without a declaration, as U.S. President Donald Trump tried but failed to get other countries to join his camp and oppose the Paris agreement.

“Weve succeeded after days and nights of negotiations to have again, after all, a 19 to 1 declaration, where the 19 signatory countries of the Paris agreement commit to the same things as we did in Buenos Aires,” Merkel said. “We say that this process is irreversible and we say that we have made our commitments [to cut greenhouse gas emissions] and will do a review again in 2020 to see whether we must make new commitments.”

French President Emmanuel Macron slammed the United States for trying to water down the climate commitments.

“We [the G20] are increasingly disconnected from the rest of the world … Our scientists every day remind us of our duty in matters of climate change and biodiversity, our youth every week in France and many countries remind us of our duty, while we at the G20 continue having debates on whether we can still cite the Paris agreement.”

Two senior EU negotiators said they had fought with the United States over the climate chapter until 4 a.m. on Saturday, when they decided to pause talks as they saw no way out of the deadlock.

Around 11 a.m., things started moving again as sherpas handed over the baton to heads of state, who agreed to back the 19 to 1′ format.

Crucially, China backed the EU and fought to keep countries committed to the ParisRead More – Source

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