Photo: Angela Merkel said the US position on fighting climate change was 'regrettable'. (Reuters: Axel Schmidt)
World powers have lined up against US President Donald Trump on climate change, reaffirming their support for international efforts to fight global warming.
- US position on climate change given separate paragraph in final G-20 statement
- Angela Merkel said US position on Paris climate agreement was 'regrettable'
- Summit also produced agreement to press ISPs to detect and remove extremist content
They called the deal to reduce greenhouse gases "irreversible" and vowed to implement it quickly and without exception.
The other countries, from European powers such as Germany to emerging ones such as China and energy producers such as Saudi Arabia, merely "took note" of the US position, which was boxed off in a separate paragraph.
Summit host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, made clear the separate paragraph applied only to the United States.
She said the US position was "regrettable" but that the summit had achieved "good results in some areas", and cited a hard-won agreement on trade that does include Mr Trump and the United States.
New elements added to protectionism statement
Photo: German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a panel discussion on the "Launch Event Women's Entrepreneur Finance Initiative". (Reuters: Patrik Stollar)
The group added new elements, however: an acknowledgment that trade must be "reciprocal and mutually advantageous" and that countries could use "legitimate trade defence instruments" if they are being taken advantage of.
That echoes concerns raised by Mr Trump, who was attending his first G20.
He has said trade must be fair as well as open and must benefit American companies and workers.
He has focused on trade relationships where other countries run large surpluses with the US, meaning they sell more to US consumers than they buy from American companies.
More broadly, concerns about trade and its impact on workers figured large in the 2016 US Presidential election and in Britain's referendum vote to leave the European Union, a free-trade bloc.
Yet pro-trade officials from the European Union pointed out that the language in the G20 statement contains no departure from the current global system of regulation, which already allows countries to take defensive measures within the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
Those can include import taxes that offset unfair practices such as government subsidies or below-cost pricing.
The EU demonstrated its willingness to move ahead with free trade despite Mr Trump by announcing a trade agreement with Japan on the eve of the summit.
Climate change action groups express reliefOn climate, summit deputies hashed out a three-part fudge that everyone could sign.
That meant a first section with a broad pledge to fight climate change in general; a separate paragraph carved out that acknowledged the US did not support the Paris deal; and a third paragraph in which the other 19 members reaffirmed their support for the deal.
Advocates for efforts against climate change expressed relief that the other countries had remained unanimous in support of the Paris accords.
"The US has obviously been clear about where it stands with the Paris Agreement, but it is heartening that 19 other countries reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement," said Thoriq Ibrahim, minister of energy and environment for the Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, a group of countries vulnerable to the effects of global warming.
The results of the summit are not absolutely decisive, on either the trade or the climate issue.
The no-protection pledge was often violated, increasingly in harder-to-detect ways such as tax breaks for home industries rather than obvious import taxes.
Photo: Donald Trump and Angela Merkel take part in a Women and Development event at the G-20 summit. (AP: Ryan Remiorz)
Additionally, US states and private companies can pursue lower emissions on their own.
G20 agreements are statements of intent and rely on governments themselves to follow through.
Still, they set the tone for global policymaking and enable peer pressure when they are not followed.
Other deals at the summit included an agreement to press internet providers to detect and remove extremist content as a way of fighting terrorist incitement and recruiting.
John Kirton, co-director of the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs, called the summit a "very solid success", pointing to broad agreement on the agenda, much of it focusing on less controversial issues such as women's empowerment and promoting digitalisation.
He said that over the long term the G20 implements 72 per cent of its promises, and has implemented 80 per cent of them since last year's summit in Hangzhou, China.
The meetings competed for attention with rioting by anti-capitalist demonstrators outside the heavily secured Hamburg Messe convention centre.
Rioters set up street barricades, looted supermarkets and attacked police with slingshots and firebombs.
Video: Protesters clash with police ahead of G20 (ABC News)