G20 agrees on key climate goals around global warming limits and coal financing, but lacks firm commitments

 /  2021-11-1

G20 Rome Summit: What will be on the agenda? 02:37

(CNN)The Group of 20's leaders' summit ended Sunday with an agreement on climate that commits its member nations to end coal financing by the end of the year and to aim to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

But the final communiqué lacked firm pledges and failed to put an end date on the actual use of coal. It did not make any commitments to improve on issues like climate finance, paving the way for difficult negotiations at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, which kicks off in earnest on Monday.
In the final statement, the 20 biggest world economies said they "would accelerate our actions" to achieve net-zero emissions by or around mid-century. Leaders for the first time acknowledged officially that its members' emissions reductions plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), needed to be firmed up over this decade to put them on track for net zero by 2050.
They said they recognized that "G20 members can significantly contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions" and committed "to take further action this decade" on enhancing "where necessary" their emissions-reductions pledges for the year 2030.
Some countries' current contributions do not put them on track to achieve their net-zero goals for the mid-century, several analyses have shown. Scientists say that the world must halve emissions over this decade to have any chance of hitting net zero by 2050 and containing global warming to around 1.5 degrees Celsius.
"We recognize that the impacts of climate change at 1.5°C are much lower than at 2°C," the communiqué states. "Keeping 1.5°C within reach will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries, taking into account different approaches, through the development of clear national pathways that align long-term ambition with short- and medium-term goals, and with international cooperation and support, including finance and technology, sustainable and responsible consumption and production as critical enablers, in the context of sustainable development.
The G20 agreement reaffirmed the commitment for wealthy nations to transfer $100 billion a year in climate finance to the Global South, an existing agreement that has not been fulfilled. A recent report from the COP26 presidency showed that the world would not meet this target until 2023. It will also agree to the mobilization of money from financial institutions, especially development banks, to fill the gap and fund a global green recovery.
Mohamed Adow, director of the climate energy think tank Power Shift Africa, said the message from the G20 was "weak."
"This weak statement from the G20 is what happens when developing countries who are bearing the full force of the climate crisis are shut out of the room. The world's biggest economies comprehensively failed to put climate change on the top of the agenda ahead of COP26 in Glasgow," Adow said.

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