Paris climate change accord irreversible and not negotiable - Merkel

The European Union is "more determined than ever" to make the Paris accord against climate change a success following the US decision to withdraw from the agreement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

Mrs Merkel stressed in a speech to the German parliament on Thursday that the EU stands fully behind its commitment to the agreement. She said "the Paris agreement is irreversible and it is not negotiable".

She will host a summit of the leaders of the G20 group of economic powers in Hamburg on July 7 and 8.

Ahead of that summit, she is hosting a meeting of the European leaders who will take part in that summit at the Chancellery in Berlin later on Thursday.

Mrs Merkel said she also hopes for a "clear signal" from the G20 summit in favour of free markets and against isolationism.

She told parliament that "protectionism cannot be a solution" to the world's problems and that she hopes for a commitment to the multilateral trade system.

As well as the US's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, the "America first" approach to trade of President Donald Trump's administration has caused widespread concern.

Mrs Merkel said discussions about climate issues in Hamburg will not be easy and there is no point glossing over disagreements.

She added that those talks must "serve the substance and aims of the Paris accord".

- AP

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