G20 pledge to take climate action criticised for ‘lacking ambition’

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Final communique agreed at summit in Italy contains no commitment to reach net zero by 2050.

The leaders of the G20 gathered in Rome concluded that countries must enact meaningful measures to limit warming to 1.5C or less over pre-industrial levels, but they face criticism for offering few concrete commitments to accomplish the goal.

A commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 was absent from Sunday’s final communique. Instead, the G20 leaders agreed on wording that emphasizes the need to reach a global agreement. Greenpeace said the statement “lacked ambition and vision” and that the G20 had failed to “meet the moment” before the Cop26 climate conference..

In terms of the G20 being a dress rehearsal for Cop26, Jennifer Morgan, it’s executive director, said that world leaders flubbed their lines.

Burke, of the E3G think tank, praised the changes in the language. “This is a shift from what they have previously said. What matters is what they say about the decade that lies ahead. Previously they had only talked about 2050, which is too far away,” he said. “This is an expression of a growing sense of urgency in the G20, driven by both events and science. This is a political signal that will add momentum to the Cop and help in reaching agreement at Cop. We were not expecting this language.”

It does mention plans to end foreign investment in coal this year – something China has agreed to do – and to take unspecific measures to limit domestic coal consumption. Turkish objections to the coal passage were lifted early on Sunday morning, prompting a rare outbreak of cheers from exhausted drafting officials at their first large, in-person gathering since the start of the Covid epidemic.

 

 

 

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