+++ G20 Newsblog in English +++ Merkel Open about Disagreement with U.S. on Climate

In her closing G-20 speech on Saturday, Merkel noted that the summit's final declaration reveals clear disagreement with the U.S. on climate issues. She says she's not optimistic that Washington will return to the Paris climate agreement.
Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G-20 in Hamburg.

Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G-20 in Hamburg.

Foto: BILAN /EPA/ REX/ Shutterstock
  • 7/8/20173:12:06 PM
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn't mince words on Saturday when talking about the results of the G-20 summit in Hamburg. While she said that participants agree that markets must remain open and protectionism resisted, she was much less sanguine about the climate passages in the summit's closing declaration. She said that the disagreement with the U.S. was clearly stated in the declaration.
    She also said she doesn't share the belief of some that the U.S. will ultimately return to the Paris climate agreement. "I don't share that optimism," she said in her closing speech, adding that the closing declaration clearly enunciates the dissent between the U.S. and the other 19 members of the G-20. "On this issue, it has become very clear that we were unable to find a consensus." This disagreement should not be "covered up."
    A link to the full summit closing declaration (PDF) can be found here.
  • 7/8/20175:22:06 PM
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to have had a late change of heart at the G-20 summit. Despite putting his name to the closing declaration that re-affirmed a commitment to the Paris climate agreement, Erdogan has now said Turkey will not be ratifying it for now.
    He said François Hollande, French president when the Paris accord was signed, had promised him that Turkey would not be classified as one of the leading industrialized nations. Erdogan said he had now told Angela Merkel and Hollande's successor Emmanuel Macron that the Turkish parliament would not ratify the deal as long as "this promise is not kept."
    Erdogan also raised doubts about whether the other 19 states stood against the U.S. with the degree of unanimity implied in the final declaration. "Every nation has problems," Erdogan told reporters. "To that extent, following America's move, our position is leaning towards our parliament not ratifying it."
  • 7/8/20175:07:12 PM
    "Welcome to Hamburg - how may I help you?" Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took time to prank guests by sitting at the info counter.
    • (Photo: AFP)(Photo: AFP)
  • 7/8/20175:05:20 PM
  • 7/8/20174:52:32 PM
    Friends after all - a policeman and a protester exchange a tender embrace while the crowd applaud during Saturday's anti-G-20 demo at the Millerntorplatz in Hamburg.
    • (Photo: DPA)(Photo: DPA)
  • 7/8/20174:18:08 PM
    Trump has left Hamburg - without giving a final press conference...
    • (Photo: AFP)(Photo: AFP)
  • 7/8/20174:09:19 PM
    Putin also took a moment to praise Angela Merkel's attempts to find a compromise on the climate issue during the summit. "That's a positive element that has to be put down to Chancellor Merkel," the Russian president said.
    For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron praised Putin for siding so clearly with the other 19 states on the issue.
  • 7/8/20173:31:59 PM
  • 7/8/20173:14:32 PM
    The radical black bloc gets some push-back from other protesters. "Violence is always wrong!" "Black bloc: You don't represent me," these banners say.
    •  (Photo: dpa) (Photo: dpa)
  • 7/8/20173:09:49 PM
    And now for some light relief: a placard that is also a Trump bubble machine:
  • 7/8/20173:00:54 PM
    The main demo currently working its way through Hamburg is passing off largely peacefully. Police said there had only been one incident, when masked radicals attacked police with metal bars.
    • (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)
  • 7/8/20172:45:55 PM
    Merkel gave an evasive answer when a journalist asked whether it was a mistake to host the G-20 in Hamburg. She said that the decision had been taken in consultation with security forces, and pointed out that London had also hosted a G-20 summit (in 2009).
    Merkel also said that victims of protest violence would receive compensation.
  • 7/8/20172:26:20 PM
    Here's the crucial and arguably most contentious passage of the G-20's final declaration (PDF of full document link here):
    "We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The United States of America announced it will immediately cease the implementation of its current nationally-determined contribution and affirms its strong commitment to an approach that lowers emissions while supporting economic growth and improving energy security needs. The United States of America states it will endeavour to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in their nationallydetermined contributions.
    "The Leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible. We reiterate the importance of fulfilling the UNFCCC commitment by developed countries in providing means of implementation including financial resources to assist developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation actions in line with Paris outcomes and note the OECD’s report “Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth”. We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris Agreement, moving swiftly towards its full implementation in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances and, to this end, we agree to the G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth as set out in the Annex."
  • 7/8/20172:08:20 PM
    During her concluding statements, Angela Merkel thanked the police for its "excellent work" in protecting the summit, and condemned the "unfettered violence" of some protesters. "Anyone who acts like this puts themselves outside our democratic community," she said.
    • (Photo: AFP)(Photo: AFP)
  • 7/8/20171:43:21 PM
    Opposition leaders in Hamburg have called on Mayor Olaf Scholz to resign for underestimating the security challenge posed by hosting the G-20 summit.
    An embarrassing quote Scholz made in the run-up to the summit has been circulated widely on social media and now been turned into ammunittion against him by the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
    The Social Democrat mayor suggested in late June that the event would pass so smoothly that Hamburg citizens would wake up on July 9 and "be surprised that the summit was already over."
    After all, he added, Hamburg was used to hosting big events, such as the "yearly birthday celebrations" for the city's harbor.
    Hamburg's Interior Minister Andy Grote, also of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), predicted that the summit would be a "showcase for modern policing".
    "How did they come to the conclusion that the summit could be equated to the harbor birthday?" said André Trepoll, leader of Hamburg's CDU. "Why did the [SPD-Green] government laugh off all the warnings from us and others? A lot of people have been injured and endangered unnecessarily."
    Many local residents have also expressed their anger at Angela Merkel for choosing Hamburg as the location of the G-20 summit, an event normally held in easily-protected rural locations.
    • Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz (Photo: Reuters)Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz (Photo: Reuters)
  • 7/8/20171:16:01 PM
    Some impressions of G-20 protesters, including a message from a weary Satanist:
  • 7/8/20171:01:22 PM
    Demonstrator Helena has one thing to ask: "Be nice to each other!" 
  • 7/8/201711:50:42 AM
    Police have been searching buildings, protest camps, and people in Hamburg throughout Saturday. At the Altonaer protest camp, organizers are advising people to put any suspicious objects in one of the collective tents, so that they can't be attributed to any individuals.
    A massive police force was sent out to search the leftist cultural center Internationales Zentrum B5, as well as its adjacent cinema B-Movie, in the St. Pauli district. Police said they had information that equipment used for arson attacks was being stored there, though all they found was "illegal pyrotechnics".
    A total of 265 people have been detained so far during the G-20 summit protests.
  • 7/8/201711:28:46 AM
    French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to local Hamburg residents, as they apologize to him for the chaos experienced in the G-20's host city on Friday. "Hamburg is a really nice town. It's not normal what happened yesterday."
  • 7/8/201711:24:39 AM
    Crowds of people are streaming from Hamburg's main railway station towards the scheduled "Solidarity" demo at the Deichtorhallen. The mood is relaxed, with many demonstrators carrying colorful banners and flags. A small group of around 150 leftist radicals – dressed in black, wearing hoods and sunglasses - has gathered at the Meßburg subway station.
    Another notable group of demonstrators are Kurds, carrying anti-Erdogan placards and flags. "Erdogan is in the city – that is a provocation. For me he is a barbarian," said one, who travelled from the city of Wuppertal.
    Lisa Munz and her husband spent the night in a train coming from Ingolstadt, Bavaria, to join the demo. "We want a peaceful protest, the riots are not acceptable," Lisa told SPIEGEL. The couple's main concern is protecting the climate. "We don't have another planet,"
    • Photo: DPAPhoto: DPA
  • 7/8/201710:29:45 AM
    Pope Francis has warned that alliances between the G-20's major powers could have deadly consequences for the world's refugees. "I worry about the formation of very dangerous alliances between powers that have a distorted world view: the US and Russia, China and North Korea, Putin and Assad in the Syrian War," the pope told Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.
    He said the biggest problem in today's world is the fate of "the poor, the weak, the marginalized, and migrants belong to all these categories."
    As for Europe, which he called "the richest continent in the world," Pope Francis added that no European leader should be under any illusion that closing the borders would solve any problems.
  • 7/8/201710:05:26 AM
    Hamburg police are reporting that an assailant on the ground used a laser pointer in an attack on the crew of a police helicopter during Friday night's protests. A suspect is to be arraigned on charges of attempted murder in court today. Police claim the 27-year-old male also pointed a laser at a helicopter on Thursday. Officers took the man into custody on Saturday morning after seizing a laser pointer during a search of his apartment. The accused was taken to a special G-20 detainment center, which has its own on-site legal facilities. The two police officers attacked in the incident were temporarily unable to work as a result. 
  • 7/8/20179:27:23 AM
    Hamburg's chapter of the Green Party has condemned Friday night's violence, as well. "The burning in the Schanzenviertel district was the sad high point of the destructive anger of criminal rioters," said the head of the party's state chapter, Anna Gallina, in a joint statement with another local party leader, Anjes Tjarks. "There's no justification for lighting cars on fire, breaking windows and looting a family owned drugstore."
    The Greens called on people in Hamburg to participate in this afternoon's "Hamburg Pushes Back" demonstration and to send out a message against violence there. "We don't want the images of anger and destruction to completely overshadow the peaceful and diverse protests taking place against G-20 policies." 
  • 7/8/20178:13:26 AM
    The Beast is here: Donald Trump's motorcade drives to the second day of G-20 meetings. 
  • 7/8/20178:10:17 AM
    Greenpeace activists in Hamburg have hung a banner from a major bridge in the port calling on the G-20 to "End Coal."
  • 7/8/20178:07:19 AM
    Another major protest is expected in Hamburg on Saturday afternoon. The alliance "Hamburg Pushes Back," is expecting up to 30,000 people at a demonstration march to take place along the city's harbor at 12 p.m.. The march has been organized by a broad group of churches, religious communities and organizations active in the arts. They will march to the slogan, "Those who are for peace protest without violence." 
  • 7/8/20177:57:22 AM
    A representative of the EU has reported that the G-20 member states have reached an agreement on a closing statement for today’s summit in Hamburg. “We have a statement — not 19 to 1, but all 20,” the representative said on Saturday morning.
    The official said there had been unity on trade and that the closing communiqué would include a clear statement against protectionism. In addition, there is agreement that more should be done to fight overcapacity in the steel industry. Climate protection, however, remains an open question.
    The climate portion of the statement is to include three sentences. First, all G-20 states will reiterate the importance of reducing greenhouse gases. It will then state that the United States wants to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The other 19 members, however, will state that they want to continue with implementation of the agreement. 
  • 7/8/20176:58:38 AM
    • Police guard a looted supermarket in Hamburg. (Photo: dpa)Police guard a looted supermarket in Hamburg. (Photo: dpa)
  • 7/8/20176:55:22 AM
    Traces of Friday night's violence in Hamburg's Weidenalle boulevard.
  • 7/8/20176:54:08 AM
    Autonomist movement protesters ripped up stones used to pave pedestrian zones in Hamburg so they could throw them at police during rioting. 
    • (Photo: dpa)(Photo: dpa)
  • 7/8/20176:49:19 AM
    Police are estimating this morning that around 1,500 rioters took part in the devastation that occurred on a street named Schulterblatt in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel district on Friday night, which became the site of the most dramatic scenes yet in the anti-G-20 protests. Rioters broke the glass windows and doors of a supermarket, a drug store, a bank, a bakery and other stores and looted them. They threw incendiary devices and molotov cocktails into some of the shops that had been plundered. Police estimate that 500 people took part in the looting of a supermarket in Altonaer Strasse just north of the Rote Flora and later set fire to it. 
  • 7/8/20176:28:49 AM
    The morning after: Debris can be seen on the streets in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel district. Protests broke windows and looted stores during mass rioting on Friday night. 
    • (Photo: dpa)(Photo: dpa)
  • 7/8/20176:22:23 AM
    Christian Lindner, the head of Germany’s business friendly Free Democratic Party, which has often served in coalition governments with Merkel’s conservatives in the past, spoke out against Friday’s rioting and defended police action against their militant opponents. “People who wear masks and throw bottles at police are not summit opponents or protesters — they are criminals,” he told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper. He said there are “no excuses” for violent rioting and that there can be “no tolerance” for it either. His impression, he said, was that police so far at the G-20 summit have found a “good balance.” He described protesters as “being wrong about this” and said they were focusing on “isolation” rather than any dialogue. 
  • 7/8/20176:14:58 AM
    Good morning,
    Last night, special police forces stormed the area surrounding Hamburg's Rote Flora, a theater that has for years been a hotbed of activity in the autonomous movement. The area had been the scene of violent protests and looting. Special police units armed with machine guns made their way into a street called Schulterblatt in the area, which is part of the city's Schanzenviertel district. Police deployed water cannons, tear gas and batons to restore peace.
    Police extinguished burning barricades and went after rioters who had thrown stones and paint bombs at them, lit fireworks and plundered local stores. For hours, helicopters flew overhead, shining spotlights to help police track rioters in some of the most dramatic scenes yet seen at the G-20. At least 13 people were arrested during the special forces raid. Early Saturday morning, some barricades still burned. Charred and, in some cases, still smoking rubble could be found on many streets in a district that now looks like a war zone. The smell of smoke still lingers over the neighborhood and the ground is filled with shards of broken glass. Calm first returned during the early morning hours.
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