The Late: Trump urged to say 'yes' to Paris climate pact

Lauren Perry
May 27, 2017

TAORMINA, Italy U.S. President Donald Trump expects a tough debate over trade and climate change with other Group of Seven leaders at their forthcoming summit, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said on Thursday.

Trump is on the final stop of his first foreign trip, which has taken him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Brussels and Italy.

Republican senators are reportedly planning to send President Trump a legally dubious letter asking him to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, a historic accord to combat climate change. It also rattled some diplomatic experts over the president's decision to not explicitly express the US commitment to NATO's Article 5 collective defense treaty.

Hosts Italy hope the luxurious, relaxed surroundings will give the rich-nation leaders a rare chance for wide-ranging debate on an array of worldwide issues, including Syria, North Korea and the global economy.

Asked about the comments Friday, a spokesman for Germany's environment ministry said "we expressly don't share the view that protecting the climate harms economic growth". "He said we have a problem", Mr Juncker told reporters, while insisting Mr Trump "was not aggressive at all".

President Donald Trump is praising the Republican who won Montana's special House race Thursday for his "Great win in Montana".

Trump has previously expressed skepticism about climate change. French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and British Prime Minister Theresa May will also be attending the elite club for the first time.

"No doubt, this will be the most challenging G7 summit in years", Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister who chairs summits of European Union leaders, said before the meeting.

However, the United States remained isolated from the other six G7 nations over climate change, demanding more time to decide whether to honor its commitments to reduce carbon emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreements.

The Italian air force's Frecce Tricolori acrobatics team is putting on a show for the G-7 summit, streaming the colors of the Italian flag over the sea as the leaders watch from garden in Sicily. He said the president, who has dismissed global warming as a "hoax", would make a final decision when he returned home, but stressed that he would put economic development first.

The source said G-7 members were still wrestling over a statement on trade and whether it would condemn protectionism, as previous G-7 statements have.

Merkel says the seven wealthy democracies meeting at a summit in Sicily have had a "reasonable" discussion on trade and have agreed to reject protectionism.

Senior officials are preparing to work through the night of Friday to Saturday in a bid to bridge what appear to be irreconcilable differences over Mr Trump's declared intention of ditching the U.S. commitment to the landmark Paris accord on curbing carbon emissions.

The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will use the summit to underscore the danger posed by the unpredictable regime in North Korea following its recent series of missile tests.

Other reports by VgToday

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