The G20 summit, also known as Group of Twenty, is an international forum for the governments and governors of 19 countries and the EU to discuss policy issues and the global economy. This year’s G20 summit happened in Hamburg, Germany. Many topics were discussed within the summit, but none got nearly as much recognition as the talks and debates surrounding US President Donald Trump.
President Trump has been criticized during the summit when he left for a meeting with the Indonesian leader, leaving his daughter to take his place. Having others take the place of the president during meetings Is nothing new, but is usually left to higher end officials.
The main criticism seems to come from Ivanka’s lack of experience, with many claiming she is unqualified to sit at the summit table, despite being considered Trump’s Advisor. During Trump’s absence, however, Ivanka did not seem to be any major part in the discussion.
One of the main points of contempt within the summit was on the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, which is made to help the global environment and keep global warming at a low. Trump withdrew from the agreement under the argument that the agreement was not beneficial to corporations that had to abide by the agreements. This caused the US to be pitted against all 19 other constituents during the summit, with tensions raising, as they claim that the climate deal is “irreversible.” Tensions at one point where increasingly high between Trump and Macron, the French president. Despite this tension, Macron claims he will still talk to Trump about the Paris Agreement, saying “I never despair to convince, because I think it is a duty, given my position, and it is a trait of my character”.
The withdrawal from the agreement can mean bad things for the environment, as regulations regarding carbon emissions, as well as being lax on environmental policy, can be a bombshell for pollution and higher carbon emissions, which can result in greater temperature increases.
Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, also had this to say about Trump and the climate agreement:
“I urged Trump to rejoin the Paris Agreement. The UK’s own commit to the Paris Agreement in tackling global climate change is as strong as ever. Not only will this protect the environment for future generations, it will make energy affordable, and maintain a secure and reliable supply in order to protect the interests of businesses and consumers.”
May is still hopeful that she can work with Trump with help persuade him to come back to the Paris Agreement, although it doesn’t seem as if he is going to change his mind anytime soon.
As the 2 day summit ended, it left an stale scent in the air, as the talks were unable to solve key differences between the US and other countries on issues like globalization and climate change. As French President Macron said: “Our world has never been so divided, Centripetal forces have never been so powerful. Our common goods have never been so threatened… authoritarian regimes, and even within the Western world, there are real divisions and uncertainties that didn’t exist just a few short years ago.” Macron continued, “We need better coordination, more coordination. We need those organizations that were created out of the Second World War. Otherwise we will be moving back toward narrow-minded nationalism.”
Despite all of this, however, President Trump still considers the talks in Hamburg as a success, as the other 18 countries and the EU recognized the US’s decision to withdrawal. Other countries, such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, believe that this hurts compensation developing countries were promised after complying to the regulations. Only time can tell if this will remain a good decision on Trump’s part.