“Summit of missed opportunities”: G20 disappoints with climate proposals

“The Summit of Missed Opportunities”
Disappointed by G20 climate proposals

A strong signal looks different: G20 countries cannot agree on ambitious climate targets in Rome. The summit announcement is full of unclear formulation and unclear timing. Climate defenders are disappointed.

“Hot wind” more than expected “strong sign”: According to critics, the world climate meeting in Glasgow, the G20 summit in Rome, was a “huge disappointment” for COP26. The heads of state and government of the major economic powers could not agree on ambitious climate targets, even though they account for 80 percent of emissions. The final release lacked new commitments, concrete plans or binding targets. What was originally supposed to happen was removed during the negotiations.

The paper was watered down from edition to edition. Instead of acting, there was only talk again. The “gap” between what was initially promised and the necessary way to save the world from dangerous heat was honestly recognized, eventually this entry was also removed. It is nothing less than a question of human fate that remained unanswered in Rome – and which will be the focus of Scotland’s massive two-week meeting from today with thousands of participants from nearly 200 countries.

“Clearly false start to climate conference in Glasgow”

An outright false start, yet another missed opportunity, while six years after the Paris climate accord the global community is deviating from the right path: according to current national action plans, emissions will increase by 16 percent by 2030 – albeit a reduction 45 percent would be necessary to limit dangerous warming, as agreed in Paris, to 1.5 degrees. With fatal consequences such as drought, floods, melting snow or hurricanes.

Climate defenders reacted “shocked”: “We are headed for a 2.7-degree heat and a catastrophic development of the climate crisis,” said Jörn Kalinski of development organization Oxfam. “The indecision and disagreement shown here threatens to burn our planet.” World Vision found it was “the pinnacle of missed opportunities”. G20 members had “pinched” ahead of important decisions. Climate expert Eckhard Forberg said the G20 group had postponed measures needed in the fight against climate change. “This is a clear false start to the climate conference in Glasgow.” The environmental organization Greenpeace also sharply criticized it: “Advertising is weak, without ambition and vision.”

China disappointed with action plan

China, by far the largest producer of greenhouse gases, is particularly important among the G20 countries. Shortly before the summit, the world’s largest coal consumer disappointed with its plan of action. Although it has long been “fifteen o’clock,” as experts warn, the most populous country wants to increase its emissions even further by 2030. China does not want to achieve carbon dioxide neutrality by 2060 – similar to Russia and Saudi Arabia. Other countries are striving for 2050, which is already considered “too late”. At the G20 summit, China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping only demanded that wealthy states “move forward”. The government in Beijing said: “The US’s aggregated emissions per capita are eight times higher than China’s.” The lack of ambition has had a profound effect on the climate summit.

India, the fourth largest CO2 producer after China, the US and the European Union, is also slowing down. Although “net zero,” according to which only emissions are allowed as bounded, has come into politics around the world, New Delhi doesn’t want to know anything about the concept. Like Beijing, it reflects the responsibility of prosperous industrialized countries. “One of the main problems in international climate policy is that industrialized countries are not prepared to make the appropriate contribution to the globally needed climate protection based on their historical responsibility for the crisis and their economic power,” says climate expert Jan Kowalzig from Oxfam. “If it were really appropriate, industrialized countries would have had to become climate-neutral before 2050 and then develop a negative climate balance as well – then other countries would have more resilience.” Rich countries are “just not ready” for this.

“Half measures instead of concrete action”

As informed circles have pointed out, the front within the G20 had hardened ahead of the summit. On the one hand are the more committed Europeans with the G7 countries, but the vulnerable US President Joe Biden, who does not know whether he will get his climate plans through Congress. The more passive side, on the other hand, the rest of the G20 – on top of all brakes on China and India, but also on Brazil, Australia, Russia, Argentina and Saudi Arabia.

“There’s a discussion today that “we shouldn’t do anymore,” says Frederick Röder of Global Citizen. “We’ve now reached a point where we can no longer negotiate climate,” Röder says. could only see “half-measures rather than concrete action”. “If there is no agreement at the G20 summit, I wonder how Glasgow can be successful.” On Monday, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, who have not attended any major UN climate summits in years, will speak at COP26, as the climate summit is simply referred to as UN jargon. is called in.

In the fight against global warming, mankind is “1:5 behind”, the host, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tried to liken to football. At the same time, he downplayed the convention’s hopes in his home country: Climate change won’t be stopped anytime soon: “And we certainly won’t stop it at COP26.” An initiative by the European Union and the United States to reduce emissions of methane, which is particularly damaging to the climate, has recently raised hope. Dozens of countries have joined and committed to a common goal of reducing methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020. The agreement is to be officially signed in Glasgow. According to the European Union Commission, if implemented successfully, global warming could be reduced by about 0.2 degrees by 2050.

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