Trump May Find Allies On Climate Change At G-20 Meeting

  • Date: 05/07/17
  • The New York Times

Western European efforts to isolate President Trump for rejecting the Paris climate change agreement appear to be faltering as leaders gather for a summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, at the end of the week.

The gulf between Mr. Trump’s worldview and that of most European leaders on topics from trade to immigration will be on display in the coming days. But nowhere is the difference as stark as it is on climate change, which Mr. Trump has mocked as a hoax.

In announcing last month that the United States would withdraw from the Paris agreement, the president portrayed the pact signed by 194 nations to cut planet-warming emissions as a bad deal for America.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has cast the agenda of the Group of 20 summit meeting as a stark contrast to Mr. Trump’s America First approach, particularly on climate change. She has called the Paris accord “irreversible,” and diplomats have expressed hope that the 19 other countries would make it clear that their support is unwavering. Environmental activists, hoping to highlight America’s status as an outlier, also are pushing hard for a united front against Mr. Trump.

“Huge efforts are underway now to make sure as many countries as possible hold the line and compensate for America’s withdrawal by redoubling their efforts. How far this goes, I have my doubts,” said Dennis Snower, president of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a leading German think tank advising the European Commission ahead of the summit meeting.

“It doesn’t look good,” Mr. Snower said. “It does not look like we are going to have 19 countries and the United States against.” […]

Conservatives in the United States say Europeans should know by now that goading President Trump is likely to fail.

“It’s like trying to poke a bear,” said Nicolas Loris, a research fellow in energy and environmental policy at the Heritage Foundation. “President Trump will stick to his convictions. I don’t think any type of pressure from Merkel or any of the other 19 countries is going to change that.”

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