As G7 leaders meeting in Canada were set on Saturday to discuss the state of the world’s oceans and climate change, U.S. President Donald Trump took a rain check and was slated to leave mid-morning.
Ostensibly, Trump was departing early to begin his 20-hour air journey to Singapore, where he is scheduled to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on June 12.
But discussions of climate change have not appeared to be high on the U.S. leader’s agenda, since he pulled Washington out of the Paris climate accord last year.
Trump was at the breakfast, where Canadian officials had said leaders would discuss “concrete actions for the G7 to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
The U.S. president came late for the breakfast, causing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Isabelle Hudon, Canada’s ambassador to France, to repeat their opening remarks.
Canada will push for a “plastics charter” during the Saturday session, to initiate a clean-up of the world’s oceans and stop the 8 million tons of plastic that are dumped into the waters every year.
Also, countries that are not members of the G7 but received an invitation by Canada as the host of the summit will be involved in the discussions on oceans.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was at the summit and it was expected that Trudeau would bring up the Rohingya who are living in abysmal conditions in refugee camps after fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
Saturday is the last day of the two-day summit and it is traditional for all the leaders to issue a final communique, but it appears Trump will not be there.
The G7 members include Canada, the U.S., U.K., Italy, France, Germany and Japan.
By Barry Ellsworth in Trenton, Canada