G20 fails to agree on climate goals in communiqué Reuters


© Reuters. File picture: At the beginning of the G20 Ministerial Meeting of Environment, Climate and Energy in Naples, Italy, on July 22, 2021, the US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Reagan was welcomed by the Italian Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Singolani.


Gavin Jones

Naples (Reuters)-Italy’s Minister of Ecological Transformation Roberto Singolani said on Friday that the energy and environment ministers of the G-20 had failed to agree on the wording of key climate change commitments in their final communiqué.

The G20 meeting is seen as a decisive step before the UN climate negotiations (ie COP 26), which will be held in Glasgow 100 days later in November.

Failure to agree on a common language before this gathering may be seen as a frustrated hope for a meaningful agreement in Scotland.

Cingolani told reporters that the ministers could not agree on two controversial issues, which must now be discussed at the G20 summit in Rome in October.

“The promise made today lacks substance and ambition. It is now up to the G20 heads of state and government to drop this document at the October Leadership Summit,” said Avaaz, an online activist network.

Italy is the rotating presidency of the G20. Chingolani, who is the chairman of the two-day meeting, said that negotiations with China, Russia and India are particularly difficult.

Chingolani said that both China and India ultimately refused to sign on two controversial points.

One of them is to phase out coal power. Most countries hope to achieve this goal by 2025, but some people say it is impossible for them.

Another related to the wording surrounding the 1.5-2 degrees Celsius limit set by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Compared with the pre-industrial baseline used by scientists, the global average temperature has risen by more than 1 degree and is expected to exceed the upper limit of 1.5-2 degrees.

“Some countries want to be faster than the agreement reached in Paris and want to limit the temperature to 1.5 degrees within ten years, but other countries with a more carbon economy say let us stick to the agreement reached in Paris,” Singorani said .

He added that the final communiqué originally scheduled for Friday may not be released until Saturday.

Prior to COP 26, environmental activists had hoped that the G20 meeting would strengthen climate goals, make new commitments to climate finance, and increase commitments to countries with net zero emissions by 2050.

“The G20 failed. The Italian G20 slogan is’Humanity, Earth, Prosperity’, but today the G20 is providing’Pollution, Poverty and Paralysis’,” Avaz said.

Cingolani said that the G20 did not make new financial commitments, but added that Italy will increase climate financing for less developed countries.

This month, deadly floods in Europe, fires in the United States, and sweltering temperatures in Siberia have made the urgency of climate action even more urgent, but countries are still divided on how to pay for expensive policies to reduce global warming.

Despite two differences, Cingolani stated that the G20 has formulated a 58-point communiqué, and all countries agree that decarbonization is a necessary goal.

“This is the first time that the G20 recognizes that climate and energy policies are closely related,” he said when asked which aspect of the package he was most satisfied with.

“What happened today was unthinkable four months ago,” he added.

Before issuing the full communiqué, the President of Italy issued a summary of the agreement with headings including “Climate Change”, “Clean Energy”, “Climate Finance”, “R&D” and “Smart Cities”.

It mentioned an agreement in 2009 that by 2020, developed countries should jointly provide poorer countries with US$100 billion in climate financing each year. Many of these countries are struggling to cope with sea level rise, storms, and storms worsened by climate change. drought. This goal has not yet been achieved.

Nonetheless, the President of Italy stated in a summary that the pledge “remains the core” and “commits to increase donations every year until 2025”.

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