G20 leaders to compromise on free trade, disagree on climate change

After "very difficult" talks on the first day of the G20 Summit as described by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leaders of the world's largest economies have reached a compromise on free trade but are still struggling to find consensus on climate change on the second and final day of the event in Hamburg.

G20 leaders, including US President Donald Trump who has come under fire for his protectionist policies, have reportedly reached common ground on the wording of the final summit statement on trade, according to the German Press Agency (DPA).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) meets US President Donald Trump on the eve of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017. /VCG Photo

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) meets US President Donald Trump on the eve of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 6, 2017. /VCG Photo

The report said G20 leaders will commit to fighting protectionism, including all unfair trade practices, but also acknowledged "the role of legitimate defense instruments in trade." 

The other major controversial issue, climate change, remains a sticking point because of Trump's stance. He has previously called the phenomenon a hoax and withdrew the US from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement in June – a decision that virtually pitted him against all the attendees at the G20 summit.

However, it is believed that the issue will be resolved later in the day.

Fossil fuels are reportedly still a bone of contention, with the US pushing to continue promoting their use, despite being one of the major causes of global warming.

According to the draft communique, the US will "work closely with other partners to help their access to and use of fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently."

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