President Donald Trump’s misgivings about climate change — whether it’s man-made, a problem, or even real — have been well-documented many times over the years. Now at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, Trump is apparently trying to get other countries to side with his views.
According to a report from Politico, Trump is actively lobbying several nations to agree with his stance on climate change in order to weaken the final communique that member nations will give at the end of the conference, Politico reported, citing three senior officials who spoke with the publication on the matter.
“The President has spoken with many of those leaders that could be part of those that are lowering the ambition of the language on climate,” an official from France said.
The nations Trump is speaking to about upending the communique include Australia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil, sources said.
If Trump is successful in watering down the final statement on climate change within the overall communique, there could be embarrassing consequences. French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that he’d rather veto the final message rather than allow Trump to hijack and drastically alter the section on climate change, for example.
Ending the G20 Summit without a communique would be seen as an upsetting — and embarrassing — end to the event for the host nation, Japan, especially for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whom Trump has often touted as having a good relationship with.
Yet climate change may not be the only controversial part of the communique that Trump is eyeing up, either.
According to a draft version of the document, obtained by Reuters, Japan plans to also have the G20 leaders sign onto an agreement promoting the idea of free trade agreements — a move that could irk Trump, given his penchant for using tariffs during his presidency to negotiate trade wars.