Published: Mon, May 29, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mattis: Trump 'Wide Open' on Paris Climate Accord

Mattis: Trump 'Wide Open' on Paris Climate Accord

America's exit from the Paris Agreement wouldn't invalidate the accord, which still has the support of most of the world, including China, and is likely to proceed without USA participation.

"On the Paris Agreement on climate change, even though Donald Trump threw a tantrum, the grown-ups in the room ignored him", Alex Doukas, senior campaigner at Oil Change International, said in a statement. Then, he got off the cart to join the six leaders for the final walk to the G7 summit venue in a former monastery, now the San Domenico hotel, The Times reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the climate debate was "controversial" and that the leaders of the other G7 nations - France, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy - all urged Trump to remain a part of the 2015 agreement.

"He digested that", Cohn said.

"His views are evolving, he came here to learn", Cohn said.

"So far there is no indication whether the United States of America will continue to participate in the Paris agreement or not", she said. A novice in global affairs, Trump has been surprisingly candid about the impact his conversations with world leaders have had in shaping his views on numerous issues.

"Make no mistake: acting on climate change is in America's self-interest".

But Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), one of Trump's energy advisers and a fossil fuel industry ally, recently said that the US should remain in the Paris Agreement in order to keep a seat at the global table and renegotiate the accord's provisions.

Turnbull had said: "When Australia makes a commitment to a global agreement, we follow through and that is exactly what we are doing".

Almost 200 countries are part of the Paris accord, and each sets its own emissions targets, which are not legally binding.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

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The Trump administration has argued that the USA standards are tougher than those set by China, India and others, and therefore have put American businesses at a disadvantage.

The president focused on fighting terrorism and increasing military spending in a speech to USA troops at a base in Sicily, Italy Saturday.

The issue is sensitive because Trump has questioned free trade policies normally traditionally championed by the G7.

Trump, on the final leg of a nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe, arrived in Sicily late Thursday after publicly criticizing partners in Brussels for what he called their "chronic underpayments" to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is also in Sicily for the meeting, told the BBC earlier that the accord would survive regardless of Mr Trump's position.

But Gentolini and other world leaders were not just waiting for internal reflection and added some external pressure, too.

On one side were leaders of Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, plus two European Union representatives and on the other side stood US President Donald Trump. "And he wants to clearly hear what the European leaders have to say".

He tweeted that he'll make a decision about the accord next week.

At the summit's end, Mr Trump gave no closing press conference, presumably to avoid questions on his son-in-law Jared Kushner's reported plans to set up a secret communications channel with Russian Federation, reported The Guardian.

There was widespread speculation in Taormina that Trump will ultimately agree to the Paris Agreement but only under specific conditions. He's not made a final decision on Paris. Trump has previously referred to climate change as a "hoax". Among the three documents the pope presented as a gift was his 2015 encyclical on the need to protect the environment.

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