World leaders made concessions on trade and climate language to Donald Trump Saturday at the end of the most fractious and riot-hit G20 summit ever, in exchange for preserving a fragile unity of the club of major industrialised and emerging economies.
In a departure from final summit declarations that tend to outline consensus on issues that range from fighting terrorism to financial governance, the extraordinary conclusion this year spelt out differences on core issues.
It acknowledged Trump’s decision to take the United States out of the 2015 Paris deal and clearly stated Washington’s wish to continue using and selling fossil fuels that are a main driver of global warming.
And in one of the weekend’s more bizarre scenes, Trump raised eyebrows by leaving a discussion and letting his daughter Ivanka take his place.
But the gesture opened the door for others, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warning that Ankara was now leaning towards not ratifying the landmark Paris climate accord.
“Where there is no consensus, the communique spelt out the discord,” said host Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The declaration also stated for the first time the right of countries to protect their markets with “legitimate trade defence instruments” -- wording that essentially gives Trump wiggle room to push on with his “America First” policy.
The nationalistic stance has set him on collision course with many of America’s allies, who warned Trump against an isolationist path and starting a trade war.