POLITICS

Angela Merkel Vows G20 Won’t Bow To Trump On Climate Change

Ahead of the G20 summit, the German leader leaves no doubt about her commitment to the Paris pact.

30/06/2017 23:27 SAST | Updated 30/06/2017 23:27 SAST

As world leaders prepare to travel to Hamburg, Germany, for next week’s G20 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear that she will not back down on climate change, whatever U.S. President Donald Trump may do.

Climate issues will be a major focus at the summit, Merkel indicated in remarks to the German Parliament on Thursday.

The G20 gathering, which starts on Friday, July 7, comes a little over a month after Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Merkel called Trump to express her disappointment with the decision immediately after his announcement. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and French President Emmanuel Macron have also decried Trump’s action.

“Since the withdrawal of the U.S., we’re more determined than ever that this be a success,” Merkel said Thursday, according to Deutsche Welle. “We can’t wait for the last man on earth to be convinced by the scientific evidence for climate change.”

Trump, who in 2012 claimed that climate change was a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese, has moved to expand fossil fuel development even as his European counterparts are moving away from it.  

While she didn’t mention Trump by name on Thursday, Merkel made clear that she would take firm stands on climate change, foreign policy and other contentious areas at the summit.

These will not be easy talks,” she said. “The differences are obvious and it would be wrong to pretend they aren’t there.”

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