California governor, former NYC mayor launch "America's Pledge" on climate change

Meat is tempting to many but costs the atmosphere a heavy price. Image William Cho CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Meat is tempting to many but costs the atmosphere a heavy price. Image William Cho CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

There is a lot to unpack from last week's G20 summit: a high-stakes first meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, large protests - both violent and peaceful - flooding the streets of Hamburg, and an agenda dominated by North Korean missile tests and a potential global trade war over steel.

They also announced they will work together on other areas, including preventing cyber attacks.

Trump at G20 summit in Germany: It's great to be with my friend, the president of Mexico. The riot led to large-scale condemnation from many political leaders and calls for the Social Democrat (SPD) Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz to resign, Der Spiegel reports.

So while at first it seemed the lack of US federal support could threaten global solidarity on climate change, the opposite happened. The action plan sets goals to review and eventually phase out fossil fuel subsidies and to transform to "affordable, reliable, sustainable and low greenhouse gas emission energy systems as soon as feasible".

Recep Tayyi Erdogan, president of Turkey, requested and got a one-on-one meeting with President Trump to discuss the Syria situation. This was symbolically evident in the group photo where Chancellor Merkel stands out in her bright red outfit in the middle of the group of similarly dressed older white men in suits, where it is hard to pick out President Trump from the crowd!

There's a limit, though, to just how much damage one man can do.

Nutall said that while the United Nations welcomes the initiative from US cities, states, and businesses, the challenge will be quantifying the effect of climate action from diverse and potentially overlapping actors, a process that will likely stretch well beyond this year's climate conference.

"Our climate change policy has identified all the problems and ways to mitigate them". Like it or not, the president has made his decision on global warming.

His earlier decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement, because of doubts about the scientific evidence on climate change and on the grounds of likely damage to the U.S. economy, was widely condemned at the time. USA negotiators may have succeeded in inserting a reference to fossil fuels in the final G20 communique but the global shift towards renewable energy sources and sustainable growth can not be turned back. Tens of thousands more people demonstrated peacefully. It was nit-picking of the type often heard on playgrounds.

India, among the strong emerging economies at the G20 summit this year found a focus on terrorism as well as climate change as major issues, as it also highlighted what it considered some of its achievements and reforms in the sectors of economy such as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"It's very important that we renew our commitment to living on a healthy planet and leaving a healthy place for our children to live in", said Councilman Zareh Sinanyan. In the United Kingdom, the Independent wrote, "The G-20 proves it". CNN reported that Trump exchanged "an aggressive, traditional American leadership role for isolation in a club of one". He made some inroads on North Korea but did not leave with a plan that has significant buy-in from players in the region. He has threatened a global "trade war" over the issue.

President Trump saw the Obama plan as jeopardizing American jobs while other countries were making empty promises.

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