German chancellor Angela Merkel has set up a tense G20 meeting in Hamburg next week after pledging to focus on climate issues - after Donald Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris accord earlier this month.
A major clash with the U.S. at next week's G20 Summit over its over its response to climate change is now all but inevitable, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her determination to focus much of the talks on the issue.
Trump's exit from the 2015 Paris pact had made Europe "more determined than ever" to make the accord a success, she stressed. But she was blunt about the obstacles posed by American retreat from the deal, which was signed by 195 nations in an attempt to forge global consensus around limiting greenhouse gases.
Angela Merkel set herself on collision course with Donald Trump this morning with a pledge to push for climate action and free trade at the G20 summit that she is hosting next week.
"We must tackle this existential challenge, and we can not wait until every last person on earth has been convinced of the scientific proof".
She added that "the Paris agreement is irreversible and it is not negotiable".
A chasm separates Merkel and Trump - and not just on climate - as they head into the conference in the northern German port city of Hamburg.
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Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said during the summit that "the fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the US".
And, taking a swipe at the Trump administration and the US's stance on the Paris Agreement, she went on to add: "Those who think that the problems of this world can be solved with isolationism or protectionism are terribly wrong".
Chancellor Merkel and President Trump will meet with their worldwide counterparts at the G-20 summit in Hamburg.
Besides the transatlantic differences, "there is also a new European division growing between east and west" particularly on the issue of refugees, noted Jean-Dominique Giuliani, president of the Fondation Robert Schuman, a Paris-based think-tank.
But she looked past that undertaking to affirm the strength of the European bloc - the longevity of which has been tested over the past year - and other multilateral institutions.
He also said he's open to renegotiating the deal on more favourable terms but it's not clear what that means or if any other country will take him up on the offer. "That I won't do", she said.
Ms Merkel said discussions about climate issues in Hamburg won't be easy and there is no point glossing over disagreements.