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Australia: Last G20 Statement to Recognise Climate Split
Source: http://www.skynews.com.au
Source Date: Saturday, July 08, 2017
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Australia
Created: Jul 14, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull and other G20 leaders are set to unveil a final communique which acknowledges a split over climate policy and US President Donald Trump's 'America first' stance on trade.

The prime minister will head to Paris at the end of the Hamburg summit, which on Saturday is focusing on innovation, women, jobs, refugees and African development.

It is understood the summit's final statement, to be delivered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday afternoon local time (11pm AEST), will reflect strong support for the Paris climate agreement and note Mr Trump's decision to pull out.

One paragraph, in a draft seen by Reuters, says the US will 'work closely with other partners to help their access to and use of fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently'.

The statement would also be helpful for Mr Turnbull, who has pledged a technologically neutral approach to cutting emissions and taking pressure off the cost of electricity with possible investment in clean coal power in Australia.

The section on trade will, as G20 communiques traditionally have done, underline the importance of free trade but say members have the right to defend themselves against uncompetitive practices.

Chancellor Merkel has described the last-minute negotiations as 'very difficult', with Mr Trump taking an 'America first' position on trade and describing deals between countries as entrenching winners and losers.

A key meeting during the day will be between Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will discuss North Korea, steel exports and America's sale of arms to Taiwan.

The leaders enjoyed a performance of Beethoven's ninth symphony at Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie concert hall on Friday night and a dinner at which Melania Trump sat next to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who had a much-watched first meeting with Mr Trump on Friday.

Mr Turnbull will be hoping to hit some positive notes of his own in bilateral meetings with the leaders of the Netherlands and South Korea on the sidelines of the summit on Saturday.

The prime minister hailed as a success an agreement with Indonesian President Joko Widido to finalise an economic pact by the end of the year.

As well, the G20 members included in a statement on terrorism his call for the rule of law to be applied to tackle extremists using encrypted communications apps and social media.

The statement called for work with industry to provide 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information where access is necessary for the protection of national security against terrorist threats'.

Mr Turnbull told reporters in Hamburg that Australia plated a key role in discussions.

'I'm very pleased Australia has played such a leading and influential role in ensuring we are bringing together one mind... to defeat terrorism', he said.

'Strong language now enables us to say to the tech companies.... you've got to work with us to solve this problem.

'We cannot allow the internet to be an ungoverned place', he said.

Extra police are being brought in to handle what is expected to be protest rallies involving 100,000 activists, some of whom have been setting fire to cars and looting stores across Hamburg.

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