Final G20 statement splits US President Trump from other world leaders on climate change though agreement on trade is reached

Rebecca Smith
German leader Angela Merkel said yesterday trade talks had been
German leader Angela Merkel said yesterday trade talks had been "very difficult" (Source: Getty)

World leaders have agreed their final communique at the G20 summit in Hamburg, after terms were hashed out to acknowledge the distinct US position on climate change, in contrast to the other members.

Speaking at a press conference today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the communique reflected the position of the US pulling out of the Paris climate deal, but set out the rest of the nations' reaffirmation that the Paris climate agreement "is irreversible".

Read more: Trump, Putin and other world leaders gather in Hamburg for G20 summit

The communique said:

We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The United States of America announced it will immediately cease the implementation of its current nationally-determined contribution and affirms its strong commitment to an approach that lowers emissions while supporting economic growth and improving energy security needs.

The United States of America states it will endeavour to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in their nationally determined contributions.

The rest of the G20 members said they intended to move swiftly towards the "full implementation" of the Paris Agreement.

President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the agreement last month, though world leaders had urged him to stick to the agreement.

In Hamburg yesterday, negotiators worked throughout the night in an effort to reach a compromise on the wording of the summit statement, with the US desire to mention fossil fuels a sticking point.

An agreement was reached on trade in the final communique, after Merkel said yesterday that trade talks were "very difficult". The summit statement retained the G20's ongoing rejection of protectionism and stated that trade must be "reciprocal and mutually advantageous".

"We further reaffirm the importance of transparency for predictable and mutually beneficial trade relations," the statement said.

Elsewhere today, leaders have been holding separate talks, with Trump meeting Prime Minister Theresa May, saying a US-UK trade deal would happen "very, very quickly".

Read more: Trump confirms he's coming to London and expects quick UK trade deal

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