The G20 agrees with key climate targets regarding global warming limits and coal financing, but has no firm commitments

But there were no firm promises in the final message and it was not possible to set an end date for the actual use of coal. It did not commit itself to improving issues such as climate finance, which paved the way for difficult negotiations at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, which begins seriously on monday.

In a final statement, the world’s 20 largest economies said they would “accelerate our action” to achieve zero net emissions by or around the middle of the century. Leaders have formally acknowledged for the first time that plans to reduce emissions from its members, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), need to be consolidated over the decade to reach zero by 2050.

They said they acknowledged that “G20 members can make a significant contribution to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions” and pledged to “take further action” over the decade “to improve” if necessary “their 2030 emissions reduction promises.

Several analyzes have shown that the current contributions of some countries are not on track to achieve their net zero targets for the middle of the century. Scientists say the world it needs to halve its emissions over this decade to have any chance of reaching zero by 2050 and keeping global warming at about 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“We are aware that the effects of climate change at 1.5 ° C are much lower than at 2 ° C,” the statement said. “Keeping 1.5 ° C within reach will require sensible and effective action and commitment from all countries, taking into account different approaches, by developing clear national pathways that align long-term ambitions with short- and medium-term goals and with international cooperation and support, including finance and technology, sustainable and responsible consumption and production as key factors in sustainable development.

The G20 reaffirmed the commitment of rich countries to transfer $ 100 billion a year to the global south for climate finance, an existing agreement that has not been fulfilled. A recent COP26 presidency report showed that the world will not achieve this goal by 2023. It will also agree to mobilize money from financial institutions, in particular development banks, to fill gaps and finance the global green recovery.

Mohamed Adow, director of the Power Shift Africa Climate Energy Research Center, said the G20’s message was “weak”.

“This weak G20 statement is what happens when developing countries that bear the full force of the climate crisis are shut out of space. The world’s largest economies have failed to put climate change at the top of the agenda ahead of COP26 in Glasgow,” he said. said Adow.

China, Russia and Australia are among opponents of the phasing out of coal

It also included the first recognition of the “significant contribution” of methane emissions to climate change and the need to reduce them. The US and EU are leading a global methane commitment signed by more than 60 countries and agree to reduce methane emissions by 30% over the decade.

“We recognize that methane emissions are an important contribution to climate change and recognize, given national circumstances, that reducing them may be one of the fastest, most feasible and cost-effective ways to limit climate change and its impacts,” the statement said. read.

Methane emissions come largely from leaking fossil fuel infrastructure as well as livestock. Australia has said it will not sign the pledge. Other major methane pollutants, including Indonesia, have been reported.

Several large coal producers or consumers have shown resistance to climate language in a draft G20 communication on decarbonisation, particularly on the use of coal, Bas Eickhout, a European Union MEP close to the talks, told CNN.

Japan led a group of countries at the June G-7 meeting to soften the languages ​​about decarbonising energy systems, and the country – along with China, India, Australia and Russia – wants to ensure that the language in the current G20 message does not include a firm commitment. said Eickhout, who is a member of the European Parliament delegation to the upcoming COP26 talks.

Eickhout said Japan insists the message says energy systems should be “predominantly” decarbonised by 2030, rather than making a clear commitment. This is supported by China and India, the world’s largest consumers of coal; Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal by value; as well as Russia, another major exporter and consumer.

Russia has resisted setting a deadline for funding coal projects abroad, a pledge made by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the United Nations General Assembly in September, Eickhout said, but added that Russia shows some room for compromise. At a press conference at the G20 meeting in Rome, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was “a fairly large group of nations that have similar concerns about this” when asked about the specific language associated with coal.

“Well, these matters were resolved through sherpa and communication,” he said.

“So we’ll see what that lands on the next day.”

This resistance from Australia was particularly highlighted by Jennifer Morgan, CEO of Greenpeace International.

“If the G20 was a general exercise for COP26, then world leaders have spoiled their words,” Morgan said in a statement. “Their message was weak, without ambition and vision, and they simply failed to deliver the moment. They are now moving to Glasgow, where there is still a chance to seize the historic opportunity, but Australia and Saudi Arabia need to be marginalized while rich countries need to finally realize that the key to unlocking COP26 is trust. “

CNN turned to officials in China, Japan, Australia and Russia for comment.


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