Theresa May to confront Trump on Climate Change at G20 summit

Theresa May and Donald Trump
Theresa May will put herself at odds with Donald Trump on climate change. Dan Kitwood / Getty
  • May to challenge Trump over decision to pull out of Paris Climate Change meeting.
  • Two leaders to meet for one-on-one meeting at the G20 summit.
  • Tensions between the two countries have grown since Trump became president.
  • Huge protests against a state visit from Trump have delayed his visit to UK.

LONDON — Theresa May will this weekend tell Donald Trump that world leaders must continue to support the global fight against climate change despite the president’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

The two leaders are due to come together for a one-on-one meeting at the G20 summit on Friday, where the prime minister will again put herself at odds with the president’s opposition to global action on climate.

“She will say that we don’t see any need for renegotiation,” a senior government official said on Wednesday.

“We support the Paris Agreement because it delivers.”

Huge protests are expected outside the event in Germany, where G20 leaders are expected to discuss global action on climate change.

The president has declared his intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement, signed by 194 other countries worldwide.

May has said previously expressed her “disappointment” at Trump’s decision to withdraw.

Relations between the two countries have been under strain since Trump became president last year. The UK government believes that a future free trade deal between the US and UK is crucial to its future post-Brexit.

However, May was forced to distance herself from the president following his attempts to implement a travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries.

Pictures of the prime minister holding hands with Trump during her visit to the White House earlier this year continued to dog the PM who has been accused of being too close to the new president.

She has since been accused of failing to stand up to Trump on climate change. While expressing her disappointment in the decision, May refused to join the leaders of other G7 countries in signing a letter opposing any renegotiation of the Paris agreement.

Donald Trump and Theresa May
Donald Trump and Theresa May Christopher Furlong / Getty

Labour’s shadow climate change minister Barry Gardiner told the Guardian that May should “take President Trump to task” when they meet.

“A Labour prime minister would make clear that the UK stands by the Paris agreement and that America is diminished by the president’s foolish and shortsighted decision to withdraw,” he said.

A planned state visit to the UK by Trump appears to have been put off indefinitely following large street protests against it in London and other towns and cities.

Trump’s visit was not included in last month’s Queen’s speech which set out planned state visits for the next two years.