Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Trump on 'Direct Collision Course' With G20 Over Climate

Climate
Bundesregierung / Güngör

By Andy Rowell

So the G20 summit is starting in Hamburg in Germany, after a day of angry protests which saw dozens arrested.

As the talks commence, the new international "Climate Pariah," Donald Trump, is going to come under intense pressure from the G20 to reconsider pulling out of the Paris agreement.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the summit host, has publicly stated that this year's summit will focus on strengthening the Paris agreement, which "puts her on a direct collision course with the U.S. president," according to the BBC.

She has told the media that despite Trump's stance, tackling climate change remains a top priority for Europe, who will speak with "one voice" on the issue during the summit.

Speaking in front of the German parliament on Thursday, Merkel said, "The European Union unconditionally stands by its agreement in Paris and will implement it speedily and with determination." She continued that the differences with Trump "are obvious and it would be dishonest to try to cover that up."

She added, "Since the decision of the United States to leave the Paris climate agreement, we are more determined than ever to make it a success."

Merkel is backed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has said Europe will "clearly reaffirm our very strong commitment to the Paris accords," adding, "I hope that the others can be brought back to their senses."

Trump will get pressure from other G20 leaders, too. Speaking earlier Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the G20 would tell Trump "it's important to take a lead role in tackling climate change and creating good jobs."

On the one hand, you can argue that the G20 leaders are being hypocritical for castigating Trump. As Oil Change and others pointed out this week, the G20 provides nearly four times more public finance to fossil fuels than to clean energy. In total, public fossil fuel financing from G20 countries averaged some $71.8 billion per year. The leaders were accused of "talking out of both sides of their mouths."

If they really are promoting climate leadership, then words are not enough. But on the other, Trump should not be allowed to get away with pulling out of the Paris agreement to satisfy the alt-right and his fossil fuel buddies.

As Trump comes under pressure, he's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin face to face for the first time today. The feeling is that Trump, by pushing his "America First" policy and pulling out of Paris, has marginalized the U.S.

America is suddenly the pariah. Putin is now the moderate.

They have much to discuss, including Russian meddling in the U.S. elections, Islamic terrorism, North Korea, Ukraine and hopefully climate change.

Putin is still in favor of the Paris agreement, despite the U.S. withdrawal. The Russian president recently said the Paris climate agreement was a "secure basis for long-term climate regulation" and Russia wanted to make a "comprehensive contribution to its implementation."

But let's not kid ourselves about Putin. For Putin, his continued support for Paris is now a bargaining chip with which to secure other favors. The Russian economy is fueled by oil and gas and his political leverage comes in part by supplying large parts of Europe with that gas.

As Mother Jones recently noted, "Trump and Putin share a common priority: A commitment to the primacy of fossil fuels."

Trump is not the only one who will be given a hard time over climate at the summit. Angela Merkel's husband Joachim Sauer is reportedly giving Ivanka Trump and first lady Melania Trump a tour of the German Climate Computing Center, which has been modelling climate data for decades. Sauer is a professor of physical and theoretical chemistry.

And even if Trump makes it through the summit relatively unscathed, his views on climate change are still going to be continually challenged by NGO's, scientists, the media and of course, kids. It will be the issue that haunts his presidency to its bitter end.

Indeed, finally a trial date has been set for a ground-breaking, climate-change lawsuit brought by 21 kids against the U.S. government. It is now scheduled to begin Feb. 5, 2018.

Mark the date on your calendar.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Oregano oil is an extract that is not as strong as the essential oil, but appears to be useful both when consumed or applied to the skin. Peakpx / CC by 1.0

By Alexandra Rowles

Oregano is a fragrant herb that's best known as an ingredient in Italian food.

However, it can also be concentrated into an essential oil that's loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have proven health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro meets Ronaldo Caiado, governor of the state of Goiás on June 5, 2020. Palácio do Planalto / CC BY 2.0

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has presided over the world's second worst coronavirus outbreak after the U.S., said Tuesday that he had tested positive for the virus.

Read More Show Less
Although natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, it is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Skitterphoto / PIxabay

By Emily Grubert

Natural gas is a versatile fossil fuel that accounts for about a third of U.S. energy use. Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Reducing emissions from the natural gas system is especially challenging because natural gas is used roughly equally for electricity, heating, and industrial applications.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved two Lysol products as the first to effectively kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces, based on laboratory testing. Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a list of 431 products that are effective at killing viruses when they are on surfaces. Now, a good year for Lysol manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser just got better when the EPA said that two Lysol products are among the products that can kill the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveils the Green New Deal resolution in front of the U.S. Capitol on February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Judith Lewis Mernit

For all its posturing on climate change, the Democratic Party has long been weak on the actual policies we need to save us from extinction. President Barack Obama promised his presidency would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow," and then embraced natural gas, a major driver of global temperature rise, as a "bridge fuel." Climate legislation passed in the House in 2009 would have allowed industries to buy credits to pollute, a practice known to concentrate toxic air in black and brown neighborhoods while doing little to cut emissions.

Read More Show Less
About 30,000 claims contending that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are currently unsettled. Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Bayer's $10 billion settlement to put an end to roughly 125,000 lawsuits against its popular weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, hit a snag this week when a federal judge in San Francisco expressed skepticism over what rights future plaintiffs would have, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Hundreds of sudden elephant deaths in Botswana aren't just a loss for the ecosystem and global conservation efforts. Mario Micklisch / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Charli Shield

When an elephant dies in the wild, it's not uncommon to later find its bones scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.

Read More Show Less