The Hamburg meeting of the G20 has isolated the US President’s anti-climate stand on the Paris Accord. Leaders of the 20 developed and large developing countries who met for twelfth time since its formation in 1999, passed a declaration criticizing the US approach to climate protection.
The final communique at Hamburg exposes US isolation: “We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris agreement.”
Besides the rejection of the US stand on climate protection the communique reassured its stand on Paris: “The leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris agreement is irreversible.”
The US President Donald Trump who made a personified campaign against the Paris Accord; announced the country’s withdrawal though the US is the second largest carbon emitting country after China.
However, the US was able to project a pro-poor dimension of its sympathy to fossil fuel industry. It has supported the underdeveloped countries’ right to use fossil fuel in a clean way in the background of their energy needs.
Trade and anti-globalisation
Interestingly, the G20 rephrased its approach to the powerful leading issue of trade and globalisation. The Communique here emphasized the need for trade to be ‘reciprocal’ and ‘non-discriminatory’.
This is the wording that reflects the notion that trade in the past decades were not beneficial to all and a revision is needed.
At the same time, the G20 distanced from US’s protectionism. The leaders agreed that they would “fight protectionism including all unfair trade practices and recognise the role of legitimate trade defence instruments in this regard.”
The G20’s stand here is something near to the European version and reflects the US concern. In Europe, a silent understanding and campaign is strong that the present mode of globalisation has not benefited them.
United States will be much happier in the new G20 approach and was urging to revise the present trade deals as they have benefited only countries like China to accumulate trade surplus.
In this context, the new G20 approach and the wording suggests that it doesn’t accept the strong pro-globalisation stand of China which is considered to the most important beneficiary of globalisation.
Though calling a more reciprocal trade deals, the G20 communique called for adherence WTO’s rule based multilateral trading system. On the immediate issue of excess steel production, the communique called for “concrete policy solutions” by November this year.