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Hamburg summit: the end of the G20’s days as a “premier forum for international economic cooperation”?

Jesse Griffiths

11 Jul 2017 16:59:06

The strangest aspect of the G20 communiqué, and the part that has dominated media coverage, is the section on the Paris climate agreement.  The strangeness arises not because of the topic – the G20 has always played second fiddle to the UN on climate issues – but because, for the first time, a whole paragraph is devoted solely to one member, the USA, explaining why it doesn’t agree with the others, followed by a paragraph by the others explaining why they will go ahead without the USA anyway, including through agreeing a “G19” action plan on energy and climate for growth.   The climate change issue is a jarring symbol of the G20’s difficulty in reaching agreement. However, the Trump administration’s ‘America first’ stance and resulting lack ...