G7 leaders meet in Sicily: climate deal hangs in the balance

G7 leaders meet in Sicily: climate deal hangs in the balance

G7 leaders will gather in Sicily on Friday for two days of talks ranging from North Korea’s continued belligerence to

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Photo: AP

G7 leaders will gather in Sicily on Friday for two days of talks ranging from North Korea’s continued belligerence to combating global terrorism.

However, as US President Donald Trump mulls withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, it appears climate change policy may take centre stage.

While Trump pledged to “cancel” the historic accord, which aims to keep temperatures from rising above two degrees, he’s yet to act. This could be symptomatic of a divided White House or it could signal that the president is having second thoughts about abandoning the deal.

Accounting for some 15% of global carbon emissions, US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement would be a disaster for the deal’s legitimacy.

But it may not be as easy as it sounds. The treaty has an inbuilt three-year cool off period, meaning even if the administration did decide to withdraw, it would have to wait until November 2019 to do so.

European leaders are pulling out the stops to prevent this from happening; a senior German official said the US would do “lasting damage” to relations with Europe if it abandons the deal.