COP26: G20 summit failed to meet moment as world leaders ‘fluffed their lines’ with weak climate pledge
Whatever spin comes out of Rome, it appears that the G20 summit has failed to meet the moment.
Details of the final communique identify limiting warming to 1.5C as a common goal, and stipulate that keeping it within reach requires meaningful and effective actions and commitments.
For many in Glasgow, this new reference to 1.5 is good, but not good enough.
And if the wording of the final document doesn’t change further, there are few concrete actions contained in the agreement.
No explicit commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, just a loose reference to around “mid century”.
No deal on phasing out domestic production of coal, just a formalisation of an existing agreement to end investment in foreign coal projects.
No promise to end fossil fuel subsidies.
Already, some are billing it as vague, even weak.
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Greenpeace International chief executive Jennifer Morgan said: “If the G20 was a dress rehearsal for COP26, then world leaders fluffed their lines.”
She isn’t far off.
The fact is that the G20 nations, the largest economies in the world, account for 80% of the world’s emissions.
The group includes big polluters like China, India, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Indonesia.
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All have made some commitments already, but the reality is that all need to do more if the world is to have a chance of keeping 1.5C of warming within reach.
Thousands are now descending on Glasgow.
Many of them had hoped the G20 would provide momentum, a springboard, a sense of growing optimism.
There is now much work to be done.
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