G-7 climate row deadlocked but USA says Trump 'evolving'


Officials acknowledge the summit, one of the shortest in the body's history, is effectively about damage limitation against a backdrop of fears among USA partners that the Trump presidency, with its "America First" rhetoric, could undermine the architecture of the post-World War II world.

Trump offered his comments during the G-7 summit it Sicily Friday.

"If we do it right, climate protection and growth go hand in hand - and then it is not really important if it is a man-made problem or not", said a German source.

The G7 leaders also received a "salute" by Italian airforce jets which flew overhead, spewing out trails of red, white and green smoke - the colours of Italy's flag.

Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn said Trump's views on climate were "evolving" and that he would ultimately do what was best for the United States.

Abe became the latest world leader to publicly flatter Trump, saluting his visit to the Middle East and address to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Thursday.

The Italian air force's Frecce Tricolori acrobatics team is putting on a show for the G-7 summit, streaming the colors of the Italian flag over the sea as the leaders watch from garden in Sicily.

"Getting ready to engage G7 leaders on many issues including economic growth, terrorism, and security", Trump wrote on Twitter. The trip has largely gone off without a major misstep, with the administration touting the president's efforts to birth a new coalition to fight terrorism, while admonishing partners in an old alliance to pay their fair share.

The chairman of the European Union's council says there is "no doubt that this will be the most challenging G-7 summit in years".

Six members of the Group of Seven would stick with their standing endorsement of the 2015 Paris deal to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and await a decision from the USA, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before the formal announcement.

The Czech Republic leader
IGThe Czech Republic leader agreed with his Slovakian counterpart

G7 leaders on Friday found common cause on combatting terrorism after the bloodshed in Manchester but failed to bridge a gulf between Donald Trump and U.S. partners on trade and climate change.

The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialised democracies.

A general view of the Greek Theatre of Taormina, where leaders from the world's major Western powers will hold their annual summit, in Taormina Italy May 18, 2017.

If that holds, Trump will break with presidential precedent by not holding at least one lengthy question-and-answer session with the press while overseas.

While most people were kept far from the summit site, residents of Taormina, a town of 11,000, were given accreditation passes to wear around their necks, allowing them to stay at home during the two-day summit.

President Trump has taken an offensive approach in Europe, scolding some of the most loyal allies of the United States for not paying their fair share toward defense spending as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

But since taking office, Trump has not moved to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement. He's also refused to explicitly back the mutual defense agreement that has been activated only once, during the darkest hours of September 2001.

Trump's meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, meanwhile, came just a day after he vowed to investigate a leak of intelligence to the American media about this week's deadly bombing at a concert in England.

U.S. President Donald Trump told his G7 counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan on Friday that he had not yet decided whether to honor a landmark 2015 Paris accord on curbing carbon emissions. During the trip he visited Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, and Brussels.

The final G-7 statement represents the common will of the leaders to follow through on goals. But a White House official familiar with conversations about the deal said Trump has indicated he's leaning toward backing out.

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