Merkel Before G20: Paris Accord Irreversible, Not Negotiable

BERLIN (AP) -

Europe is “more determined than ever” to make the Paris climate accord a success, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday, and insisted that the deal is not negotiable, while predicting difficult talks on the issue at next week’s Group of 20 summit.

Merkel also said she hopes for a “clear signal” in favor of free markets and the multilateral trading system from the July 7-8 meeting in Hamburg, arguing anew that protectionism can’t solve the world’s problems.

The Trump administration’s “America first” approach to trade and other issues has caused widespread concern elsewhere, as has its decision to withdraw from the Paris accord on climate change.

The European Union will swiftly implement its commitments under that deal, Merkel said. “Since the decision by the United States of America to leave the Paris climate accord, we are more determined than ever to lead it to success,” she added.

She declared that “the Paris agreement is irreversible and it is not negotiable.”

“We cannot expect easy talks in Hamburg” on the matter, Merkel said. “The disagreement is obvious, and it would be dishonest to gloss over it. I won’t do that, in any case.”

The G-20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Also attending the summit will be the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Guinea, Senegal, Singapore and Vietnam.