Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that US President Donald Trump was still against the 2015 Paris agreement to fight climate change, essentially preventing other world leaders meeting in Sicily for a G7 meeting to persuade the new American leader to support the treaty. “The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel commented.
Mr. Trump has previously called global warming a hoax. He tweeted following the meeting that he would make a decision next week on whether to support the 2015 deal on curbing carbon emissions. However, all G7 leaders found common ground on other issues such as fight against terrorism, Syria and Libya as well as fighting extremist propaganda on the Internet and they signed a statement to bolster efforts in these areas. Mr. Gentiloni thus pointed out that climate was the only open question.
Italian Prime Minister also said that there was some progress on the issue of international trade but added that the wording of the final statement was still being worked on. Donald Trump had previously advocated a protectionist agenda, which alarmed his G7 allies. “On the major theme of global trade, we are still working on the shape of the final communiqué, but it seems to me the direct discussions today have produced common positions that we can work on,” Mr. Gentiloni said. The G8 leaders still continue to work without Russia as G7 after they declared in March 2014 that a meaningful conversation with Moscow was currently not possible.