The G20 Summit is meant to be a show of strength for the leaders of the 20 most powerful countries in the world.
This year, there was a rare public admission of disagreement among the leaders. 19 world leaders stood together and agreed on a statement that shows their commitment to implement the Paris agreement on climate protection, including a plan of action on climate and energy.
United States stood alone when it came to resisting action against climate change. In the final G20 communique all countries except the US agreed that the Paris Climate Accord was irreversible. On paper they took note of the United States’ decision to leave the Paris Agreement but didn’t mince their words of condemnation.
“Like other world leaders here, I am dismayed at the US pulling out of the Paris agreement and I’ve urged President Trump to rejoin the Paris agreement,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May.
“The United States of America left the climate agreement or rather announced their intention of doing this,” Ms Merkel said in German at her closing press conference.
The US President also insisted on having fossil fuels mentioned in the final communique. Other countries like France resisted, but they finally agreed to a special paragraph for Trump to see US pledge help to other countries- access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently.
Mr Trump hasn’t just been isolated by 19 other countries that stand united against climate change but is increasingly under preassure in his home turf. Sub-national and corporate initiatives in the United States have emerged as beacons of hope. Corporate leadership and institutional investor focus on carbon emissions reduction and sustainability issues are increasing. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently unveiled the first glimpse of Model 3. Tesla has been working on limited production of the Model 3, its new electric vehicle that is expected to be available to the public at the end of July.
In his latest attempt to battle climate change as the Trump administration deflects, California Governor Jerry Brown announced a climate conference to be held in his state next year. Thanks to ample sunshine, full water reservoirs and solar facilities; renewable output rose to 80 per cent when combined with hydropower facilities in California. They now hope to derive 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045.
“California and the North eastern states that have their own greenhouse gas initiatives that account for 40% of US emissions and if you add some other cities and companies, you have a significant amount of emissions being controlled by non-state actors,” Nahaniel Keohane, an American environmental economist, told NDTV. He also emphasised that it important to show that Trump doesn’t speak for the rest of the US when it comes to climate.