President Donald Trump was the only world leader at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit to not sign a nonbinding statement reaffirming their commitment to fighting climate change.
A senior White House official said the language on climate was necessary for Washington to sign on to the final statement.
“The final language of the statement says, regarding climate, that 19 nations that are signatories to the Paris accord reiterate their commitment to it while the U.S. reiterates its decision to withdraw,” according to The Associated Press. “It also notes a recent U.N. report that warned damage from global warming will be much worse than previously feared, and expresses support for an upcoming U.N. climate meeting in Poland meant to nail down how countries will meet promises made in the Paris accord.”
Leaders of the G-20 nations signed off on a final statement pledging to fix the world trading system.
The statement finalized after the two-day summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, calls for reforming the World Trade Organization but does not mention “protectionism” because the U.S. resisted those discussions, according to The Associated Press.
Trump disputed the scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to climate change during an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday.
“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,” Trump said. “You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean.”