G20 leaders fail to beef up climate commitments in blow to Cop26

G20 leaders fail to beef up climate commitments in blow to Cop26
Pledges will fall short on slashing emissions by 2030 – the cut-off point for averting disaster – and on net zero by 2050

World leaders are being accused of failing to beef up commitments to tackle the urgence climatique after talks in Rome, in a blow to hopes for the crucial Flic26 sommet.

The communique issued by the G20 group of the biggest economies is set to pledge to only “enhance when necessary” plans to cut émission de dioxyde de carbone par 2030 – the cut-off point for averting disaster, les scientifiques disent.

Far from agreeing to “consign coal to history” – Boris Johnson’s aim for the Glasgow summit – it sets no date for phasing out the fossil fuel, which will happen only “as soon as possible”.

There is also no deadline for ending fossil fuel subsidies, which have soared since the easing of the Covid pandémie, with an aim to achieve that only “over the medium term”.

In the run-up to Cop26, the UK has urged all countries to follow it in committing to net zero emissions by 2050 – but the communique also fails to do that.

The omission reflects the reality that China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, has set a target date of 2060, while India and Russia are also not committed to the 2050 date.

On the 1.5°C target, the document will read: “We recognize that the impacts of climate change at 1.5°C are much lower than at 2°C. Keeping 1.5°C within reach will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries.”

Paix verte attacked the lack of progress, warning that “if the G20 was a dress rehearsal for Cop26, then world leaders fluffed their lines”.

“Their communique was weak, lacking both ambition and vision, and simply failed to meet the moment,”saidJennifer Morgan, the organisation’s executive director.

And Mohamed Adow, director of the thinktank Power Shift Africa, mentionné: “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.”

A downbeat Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, tweeté: “I leave Rome with my hopes unfulfilled – but at least they are not buried.”

Australie, Inde, China and Russia were believed to have held out against UK and EU pressure to consign coal, to history, despite it being responsible pour environ 44 per cent of man-made CO2 emissions.

Au methane, un autre greenhouse gas, the communique recognises that reducing emissions is “one of the quickest, most feasible and most cost-effective ways to limit climate change”.

But that was said to be watered down from an earlier draft that pledged to “strive to reduce our collective methane emissions significantly”.

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