It’s shaming how stark the isolation is.

In an unusual admission, Group of Seven (G7) leaders have said in their final communique from a summit in Italy that they had failed to bridge differences over climate change with US President Donald Trump – and America was unable to join other countries in committing to the Paris Agreement.

“The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics,” the communique read.

“Understanding this process, the heads of state and of government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom and the presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement,” it added.

In other words the normal heads of state re-affirm the work the G7 had already done, and the outlier sticks out his lip and scowls and shouts “No!” like a toddler.

Under pressure from allies, Mr Trump backed a pledge to fight protectionism, but refused to endorse the global Paris climate change accord, saying he needed more time to decide, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they hoped were long settled.

He doesn’t “need more time to decide.” He needs to build on the work that was already done, during the years he was playing a Ruthless Executive on tv, by people who know something about the subject. What’s he going to base his “deciding” on? His gut? What Steve Bannon tells him? Fox News? He’s not equipped to decide anything, especially not a technical subject that he knows absolutely nothing about.

Climate action groups were quick to condemn Mr Trump’s actions.

Roberto Barbieri, Executive Director of Oxfam Italy, said: “President Trump, more than anyone else, has assumed the role of spoiler-in-chief – blocking agreement on many of these key concerns that affect millions of the world’s poorest people.

“It is courageous that six of the G7 countries stood up to him and reaffirmed their commitment to deliver on the climate deal made in 2015,” he added.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) said that Mr Trump “waffling” on the issue of whether to stay in or leave the accord was deeply damaging.

“President Trump’s ‘climate inaction plan’ is a threat to every American’s health and future prosperity,” he said.

That’s why he likes it.

5 Responses to “Spoiler-in-chief”