by WorldTribune Staff, May 30, 2017
At the Group of 7 (G7) summit, agreeing to disagree on shared convictions so strongly-held that they approach religious fervor is not an option. It is simply not cool.
Therefore, when U.S. President Donald Trump broke ranks on the Paris Agreement climate accord over the weekend at G7, sophisticates near and far were horrified.
Politico’s Playbook e-letter dedicated the top of its daily fire hose of political data with the reactions near and far to the president’s politically incorrect stance at the G7, a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
One senior EU official fumed that it was “like when there’s a new strange kid in the class nobody likes. You behave civilly when teachers (media) watch but don’t spend time with him in private because he’s so different.”
World leaders, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron, had hoped to persuade Trump to endorse the climate pledge, but by the end of the summit – held at a luxury hotel in Taormina, Sicily that was once a Dominican monastery and base for the Nazi air force during World War Two – they realized they had failed.
Trump refused to toe the G7 line, tweeting on May 27 that he would come to a decision on the Paris accord next week.
The melt-down ensued.
“The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory,” Merkel told reporters. “Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one. That means there are no signals until now whether the U.S. will remain in the Paris Agreement or not. We have therefore not talked around it but made clear that we the six member states and the EU remain committed to the goals of the agreement.”
The unhappy German continued: “The fact that we have not been able to make progress here is of course a situation in which you have to say that there is no common support for an important international agreement. This Paris Agreement is not simply any old agreement, but it’s rather a core agreement. There is right now no agreement. But we have made very clear that we are not moving away from our positions.”
Politico Playbook noted that “while the declaration included remarkable language, highlighting that the U.S. stood apart, the other allies expressed some relief that Trump had not outright rejected the accord and said they remained hopeful he would come around to supporting the Paris agreement in the coming days. But Trump’s refusal to take a position while in Sicily has shaken the unity among the G7, the world’s most exclusive geopolitical club. The U.S. has also raised doubts about the G7’s longstanding language opposing protectionism in all forms. The Trump administration blocked similar language in a G20 communique earlier this year.”