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G20 Deeply Divided On Trade And Climate Change

The G20 has staged a show of unity by signing up to a unanimous communique but only by papering over deep divisions on trade and climate change…

Their success in crafting a communique shows that the G20 is getting better at managing the disruptive challenge from US president Donald Trump, but at the price of weak agreements that do little to bind national leaders.

Although the mood was lifted by US-China trade detente, news that the EU and Mercosur struck a landmark trade agreement, and agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia to extend their oil production agreement, officials involved in the G20 talks said that trade, environment and the digital economy were the toughest issues with the debate on climate change going all the way to the deadline…

The biggest struggle was over climate change, with the G20 eventually meeting French president Emmanuel Macron’s demand for a strong reference to the Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last year, the communique said that participants in the Paris agreement regarded it as irreversible and were determined to implement it in full. But a separate paragraph noted that the US rejected the deal.

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