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G20 countries, except U.S. of course, reaffirm Paris climate goals

Christian Fernsby |
The Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Osaka concluded in Japan with a mostly predictable outcome.

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In addition, with the United States withdrawing from the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, the best the G20 leaders could agree to on that front was that the other 19 members would pursue the Paris agreement’s goal of keeping the world’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, and that the United States would merely remain committed to the development and deployment of advanced technologies to continue to reduce emissions and provide for a cleaner environment.

“It is difficult to find a solution, in one stroke, regarding a variety of challenges. However, in this year’s summit, in many areas, we were able to send out the strong will of the members of the G20 to the whole world, creating a sustainable, future-oriented growth path,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a news conference following the declaration’s adoption.

Abe noted that current trade tensions, especially between the United States and China, were creating worries around the world.

On top of deep differences among the G20 members over multilateral trade, the U.S. opposition to strong G20 support for the Paris agreement was the subject of much discord at the Osaka summit, with the French threatening to walk out unless support for the Paris agreement was reaffirmed.

In the end, the language adopted was similar to the declaration on climate change adopted at the December 2018 G20 summit in Buenos Aires. The other 19 members will adhere to the Paris goals but the United States will go its own way.

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