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G7 deadlocks on climate after US declines to confirm UN Paris deal – Trump to decide ‘next week’

Taormina (Italy) (AFP) – President Donald Trump said Saturday that he would make a decision next week on whether the United States would abide by the 2015 Paris agreement on cutting global carbon emissions.

The dramatic announcement came as a summit of G7 leaders in Sicily wrapped up in deadlock on the issue, with US partners voicing frustration at the president’s failure to commit to the deal aimed at stemming global warming.

“I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!” Trump tweeted.

No further comment was expected from the US leader, who was due to fly home later Saturday without giving the customary close-of-summit press conference.

Officials said the meeting’s final declaration would reflect a stalemate between the US and the six other participating countries, who are all strongly committed to Paris.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised what she called “a very difficult, not to say very unsatisfactory” discussion with Trump on the issue.

“Here we have a situation of six against one, meaning there is still no sign of whether the US will remain in the Paris accord or not,” she said.

France also confirmed the stalemate.

“The United States is evaluating its policy with regard to the climate, so the six other G7 countries will reaffirm their commitment (to the Paris accord) while taking note” of the US position, a senior official told reporters.

Other delegates concurred that it was “six against one” at the gathering of leading democracies spanning North America, Europe and Japan.