France wants the G20 to issue a statement committing to strong action on climate change and considers the issue a “red line”, President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday ahead of the summit.
Macron was speaking in Tokyo on a visit ahead of this week’s Group of 20 meeting, where climate change will be among several contentious issues on the table, along with trade and tensions with Iran.
The French leader held bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday.
The G20 is expected to be dominated by the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, as well as concerns that spiralling tensions between Washington and Tehran could lead to war.
But climate change will also be a battleground, with Washington likely to oppose strong references to the Paris climate deal, an agreement from which it plans to withdraw.
Macron said France would refuse to sign any agreement that bowed to such demands, amid reports that Japan is seeking consensus language that could water down previous communique wording on climate change.
“I have a red line,” he told a gathering of French citizens before meeting Abe.
“If we do not talk about the Paris accord and if, in order to find agreement among the 20 in the room, we are not able to defend climate ambitions, it will be without France.”
Meanwhile, the Kremlin yesterday said Russian President Vladimir Putin and US leader Donald Trump will discuss arms control and Iran and Syria crises on the sidelines of this week’s G20 summit in Japan,.
Putin is also set to have talks with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told journalists.
Putin and Trump will meet in Japan’s western city of Osaka tomorrow.