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The climate change dominated discussions on Hamburg’s G20

The latest G20 summit took place at a time of major shift in the global geopolitical environment. World leaders wrapped up the G20 summit on Saturday with concessions on trade and climate change. Here’s what happened.

The climate change dominated discussions

Justin Trudeau was seen discussing with president Trump before the beginning of the Hamburg G20 summit. The prime minister of Canada may have a good working relationship with Donald Trump, but his efforts and those of other G20 leaders were predictably not enough to get the US to change its stance on the environment issue. Angela Merkel says no attempts were made to paper over the deep divide on climate change. The finale communiqué reflects that with a special section acknowledging that the US is the only G20 member not to support the Paris climate Accord. “The United States made it very clear that at this point they’re looking in a different direction but I think the fact the G20 stayed strong and committed even with the United States stepping aside is a strong indication that the global community in general is committed and united.” says Justin Trudeau. Trump cancelled his planned news conference and departed the summit without immediate explanation. Trump met Vladimir Poutine for the first time in what was described as the highlight of the G20 summit. The two leaders shook hand in front of cameras from all over the world and shared a few words in front of journalists.

China stayed out of the spotlight

Last week’s G20 summit was filled with potential hurdles for China’s President Xi Jinping from US anger over inaction on North Korea to the continued imprisonment of Chinese Nobel Laureat Liu Xiaobo. In the end, the Chinese President whose country hosted the last G20 remained out of the spotlight. He merely reaffirmed China’s commitment to the Paris deal and to an open global economy.

In their final statement, all G20 countries vowed to keep global markets open and pledged to continue to fight protectionism, noting the importance of having reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade and investment frameworks.