Donald Trump is 'blocking' a G20 agreement because it has a line about climate change

'The outcome is good. We have a communique,' one EU official says. 'There is just one outstanding issue on climate.'

Jon Stone
Saturday 08 July 2017 08:52 BST
Picture: (AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's team of negotiators have blocked a section of a joint G20 statement on climate change, European Union officials have claimed.

They said the US was pushing for a reference to fossil fuels, but they had overcome differences on trade after American officials agreed to language on fighting protectionism

"The outcome is good. We have a communique. There is one issue left, which is on climate, but I am hopeful we can find a compromise," said one EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We have all the fundamentals. We have a G20 communique, not a G19 communique."

He added that the G20 statement included a commitment to "fight protectionism".

Today's agenda features discussions on partnerships between the G-20 and Africa, on migration and health. There is also a discussion on digitalisation, empowering women and unemployment.

A key focus is on what formulations the G-20 leaders find to set out their positions on global trade and climate change.

The host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said after the first day of meetings that discussions on trade were very difficult and that differences on climate change were clear.

Finding compromises is challenging at a time when President Donald Trump's Trump's "America First" rhetoric and decision last month to withdraw from the Paris accord against climate change have caused widespread concern.

Germany has been keen to preserve the G-20's tradition of making decisions by consensus.

The G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

Also attending are the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Guinea, Senegal, Singapore and Vietnam.

Saturday's sessions come after a second night of trouble elsewhere in Hamburg, as rioters set up street barricades, looting supermarkets and attacking police with slingshots and firebombs. Hundreds of officers went into buildings in the Schanzenviertel neighborhood to arrest troublemakers.

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