Friday, 21 Feb 2020

Donald Trump to go head to head with Macron at G7 after ‘direct’ telephone call

In a “direct” exchange with France’s President Emmanuel Macron, the American leader said he wanted to revisit the 2016 Paris climate accord, which he controversially pulled out of in 2017, to remodel it “on terms that are fair to the US”. But Mr Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni downright refused to reopen talks on the landmark agreement, which former president Barack Obama hailed as a “turning point” in the fight against global warming.

In a joint statement, the leaders of France, Germany and Italy said: “We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible, and we firmly believe that the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies.

“The Paris agreement remains a cornerstone in the cooperation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change.”

On Thursday globalist Mr Macron and Mr Trump discussed the climate deal in a five-minute phone conversation, which was described by a French presidential source as a “direct” exchange between the two men.

The US President, who drew scorn for his decision to opt out in February 2017, is seeking to persuade his counterparts to change key elements of the agreement.

He is due to meet with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Canada and Japan at the annual meeting on August 24-26, held in Biarritz, France.

Each year the G7 nations, which is made up of the world’s richest countries, gather for talks on issues affecting the global community.

Since 1977, representatives of the EU have joined in on the meeting despite the body not having official status as a member of the G7.

Mr Trump is a well-known climate change sceptic and has in the past dismiss the issue as a “hoax” by the Chinese.

In a live TV address hours after the phone call, Mr Macron said: “I respect this sovereign decision but I regret it, and I think he made a mistake for his country’s and his people’s interest, for the planet.”

“I just talked to President Trump and told him so.”

Mr Trump said his administration would “start to negotiate and we’ll see if we can make a deal that’s fair”

He added: “If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”

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And in a dig to his American counterpart’s 2016 successful campaign slogan, Mr Macron said: “We all share our responsibility: Make our planet great again.”

On Thursday the embattled French president became embroiled in a Twitter spat with Brazil’s leader when he said the fires in the Amazon should be top of the G7 agenda.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused him of having a “colonialist mindset” for suggesting a discussion on the Amazon without representatives from south American countries at the table.

Mr Macron tweeted: “Our house is burning. Literally.

“The Amazon rainforest – the lungs which produces 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis.

“We firmly believe that the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated”

Merkel, Macron and Gentiloni

“Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days!” He added the hashtag #Act ForTheAmazon.

Mr Bolsonaro slammed slammed Mr Macron and accused him of using the important issue for “political gain”.

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