G20 in Hamburg. From tragedy to farce in one easy step as the media spiral down yet further

The global media were almost unanimous in their headlines that the United States was isolated following the decision of the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement 2020, that it was the G19 versus 1.

But they seized on a few sentences in the final communiqué to prove their point that

The Leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible… We reaffirm our strong commitment to the Paris Agreement…

The communiqué’s previous two paragraphs, however, tell a different story. The stance of the United States is far more nuanced and positive than the global media made out:

Energy and Climate: A strong economy and a healthy planet are mutually reinforcing. We recognise the opportunities for innovation, sustainable growth, competitiveness, and job creation of increased investment into sustainable energy sources and clean energy technologies and infrastructure. We remain collectively committed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through, among others, increased innovation on sustainable and clean energies and energy efficiency, and work towards low greenhouse-gas emission energy systems. In facilitating well-balanced and economically viable long-term strategies in order to transform and enhance our economies and energy systems consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, G20 members will collaborate closely. Recalling the G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration, we regard energy security as one of the guiding principles for the transformation of our energy systems, and we will continue to work on open, flexible, and transparent markets for energy commodities and technologies. We welcome international cooperation on the development, deployment, and commercialisation of sustainable and clean energy technologies and support financing by Multilateral Development Banks to promote universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy.

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 nationally-determined contributions.

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