US lone G20 climate change dissenter
THE G20 conference in Hamburg has left Donald Trump more isolated on the world stage than ever, as the leaders of the 19 other countries spoke with one voice on climate change - but excluded the US.
The emergence of the so-called "G19” group occurred after Mr Trump refused to sign up to the communique pledging to implement the Paris climate accord - which the US President says he wants to scrap or totally rework.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "disappointed” in the US's intransigence on the issue.
"Like other world leaders here, I am dismayed at the US decision to pull out of the Paris agreement and I urged President Trump to rejoin the Paris agreement,” Ms May said.
"The UK's own commitment to the Paris agreement and tackling climate change is as strong as ever.”
Her comments were echoed by German Chancellor Angel Merkel, who said 19 members of the Group of 20 had reaffirmed the Paris climate accord as "irreversible”.
The Paris agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions comes into force in 2020, and mandates signatories to plan to reduce their emissions and report on their progress. It has been ratified by 153 countries and signed by 195.
French President Emmanuel Macron used the talks to announce he would host a round of follow-up Paris climate talks in December, putting him even further from the US on the issue.
The decision to release a split statement came after hours of wrangling between delegations.
A diplomatic source said: "There was concern that not being able to agree the language on the Paris agreement could hold up the whole summit communique.
"Macron asked PM May to step outside with him, Trump and (Malcolm) Turnbull to agree a form of words which allowed the 19 to express their support for Paris in the strongest possible terms, with the US stating its own position. This was done.”
The communique exempting the US from the joint G19 statement read: "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 that it will endeavour to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more clearly 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 Leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible.”