In Europe, World Leaders Try To Change Trump's Mind On Climate Change

In Europe, World Leaders Try To Change Trump's Mind On Climate Change

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (L) welcomes US President Donald Trump as he arrives for the G7 summit.

In a bilateral meeting with Trump on Thursday in Brussels, French President Emmanuel Macron said fighting terrorism and respecting the Paris Climate Agreement were at the top of the agenda.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "we clearly said that we want the U.S. to respect the commitment made with the Paris climate accords" but "the United States of America clarified that it has not yet taken a decision and that such a decision will not be taken here", Bloomberg News reported.

U.S. administration officials have said U.S. President Donald Trump, who referred to man-made global warming as a "hoax" during his campaign, will wait until after the summit before making a decision on the issue.

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said Friday that Trump did say Germans are "very bad on trade but he doesn't have a problem with Germany".

"I am not a great believer in man-made climate change", Trump said at the time.

"The last levels we put out in the Paris agreement were levels that would be constraining to our economic growth", Cohn said. He came here to get smart.

Leaders of the world's leading economies who are meeting in Italy for the annual Group of Seven (G7) summit remain divided on trade issues and climate action, but are likely to find a compromise on refugees and immigration, a diplomatic source in Sicily, where the G7 is being held, told BuzzFeed News.

Trump told the leaders "he didn't want to be in second place", Cohn said, especially because he is committed to keeping his campaign promises to create jobs and improve working-and middle-class opportunities.

H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of Environment & Climate News and a research fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.

"President Trump has promised to represent the best interests of the American people; those interests entail a withdrawal of the United States from the pact signed onto by the previous administration", AEA President Tom Pyle said in a statement.

"We understand that some officials inside your administration want to remain in the Paris Agreement to keep a seat at the table so that the USA continues to have a voice in future discussions", the letter read.

The president's new apparent openness to staying in the landmark Paris climate pact came amid a determined pressure campaign by European leaders.

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To be sure, many USA business groups oppose the Paris Agreement, such as the Industrial Energy Consumers of America-which represents manufacturers and other larger energy-using businesses-that wrote an April 24 letter to administration officials.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2024, but Mr Trump said that was the bare minimum.

For Trump, who touched down at a USA military airbase near the summit venue late on Thursday, the talks will be the final leg of his first presidential foray overseas.

Trump's meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May came a day after he vowed to investigate an intelligence leak blamed on the Americans about this week's deadly bombing at a concert in Manchester that prompted British authorities to temporarily stop sharing intelligence with the United States.

In the Middle East, President Donald Trump was feted with pageantry, with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel seemingly in competition to outdo the other with the warmth of their welcomes and the depth of their pledges of co-operation.

The White House said as much in briefings to reporters after the meeting, the final stage on the president's nine-day foreign visit.

The White House believes that Trump has made personal breakthroughs with his peers, having now met one-on-one with all the leaders of G-7.

Trump is facing significant global pressure to keep the USA in the accord. Unlike numerous leaders, he does not plan a news conference, meaning he'll end his trip without a formal question-and-answer session with journalists that could have included queries about the investigation back home into contacts between Russian Federation and his election campaign.

Under the agreement, which was reached by almost 200 countries, the Obama administration pledged to cut USA greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, though it is not legally binding.

But in Europe, Trump has faced a far cooler reception and has been eager to go on the offensive.

Sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said the summit would have a "particular focus on the North Korea problem".

There is division inside the Trump team as to whether the U.S. should pull out.



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