The joint G20 communique, released on Saturday, acknowledged that the Paris climate agreement, adopted in 2015, is "irreversible", and that US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the deal means that the US and rest of the major economies will go their separate ways in regulating their respective industries.
The Trump administration's decision to roll back environmental regulations in the United States and withdraw from the global agreement has elevated Brown's profile on the world stage. He said climate change was a challenge, but also an opportunity to invest. "I continue to hope that is exactly what the United States will do".
Amid the big egos and intractable conflicts, the host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, faces the daunting task of steering leaders towards a consensus on trade, climate and migration - all issues that have become more contentious since Trump entered the White House half a year ago. A coalition of cities committed to the climate action outlined in Paris - led by Garcetti - has swollen from a few dozen members to 331 in the last few weeks.
Relations between the two countries have been under strain since Trump became president past year. She said the communique clearly mentioned the U.S. dissent and the position of all other members. They also committed to keep markets open and focus on reciprocity, non-discrimination, fight protectionism and unfair trade practices. But conservation groups demanded faster action to end the use of fossil fuels.
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To a question on the United States being isolated as 19 members of this group of 20 asserted that the Paris Agreement was irreversible, he said there were differences but it is not about someone getting isolated but the Europeans certainly had a much stronger position. "Our differences with the U.S. are clear".
"We're still in talks", she told reporters.
The declaration said the leaders "take note" of the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but they also noted the USA promises to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently, and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources.
She has since been accused of failing to stand up to Trump on climate change. In this light, Trump's protectionist rhetoric appears to be, to a certain degree, leverage that would help affect and alter other nations' stances on the aforementioned issues. Many observers have subsequently noted that the U.S. is now "isolated" in their vision of trade and environment issues, but the White House appears to be adamant pursuing their "America First' policies, nearly regardless of possible global spillovers and/or headwinds".