G20 – G20 group promises climate protection and debates goals

G20 - G20 group promises climate protection and debates goals

ROME (AP) – Major industrial nations (G20) are looking to make new promises in terms of climate protection at their summit in Rome later this week, but are still divided over specific goals.

The draft final release, available to the German press agency, calls for “immediate action” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. However, it is disputed whether the G20 will also commit to a common goal of net zero emissions of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide neutrality by 2050. Climate protection activists were disappointed by the draft text: it’s too vague.

In the document, the target year 2050 is still in parentheses. China, by far the largest producer of carbon dioxide, has so far only committed itself to a desire to become carbon dioxide neutral by 2060. Net zero means that all greenhouse gas emissions must be removed from the atmosphere again through measures to reduce them. This will make the climate of mankind neutral and according to the researchers, the global temperature will probably stabilize. G20 countries are responsible for more than 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Heads of state and government also want to prepare the World Climate Meeting (COP26) at its summit in Rome, which begins in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sunday. It aims to discuss how the goal set out in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 can be achieved, namely limiting dangerous global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era.

criticism of the draft

Development organizations have called for new commitments from the G20. “We need a strong signal that the World Climate Conference is on the right track and doesn’t end in the end,” said Oxfam’s Jörn Kalinski. “We have to go down with emissions and down with climate finance.” “The G20 summit sets the course for the success or failure of the climate summit”, said Friedrich Meister of the Global Citizen Movement. As the “world’s biggest polluter”, G20 states have a special responsibility.

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It is also controversial in the draft whether the G20 wants to commit itself to taking further measures “into the 2020s”, formulating a national action plan, implementing them and reviewing them regularly. Such prompt action will be necessary from the point of view of climate protection activists.

“Unfortunately, the draft text does not convey the necessary determination,” criticized Oxfam climate expert Jan Kowalzig. “The G20 should sound all alarm bells that their own hesitation threatens to burn up the planet.” The gap between the 1.5° target and action plans is recognized, “but the call for more climate protection is too non-binding and too vague”. The summit should really send a “clear signal” that all G20 countries will further improve their climate protection contributions by next year – and then win over all other countries at the World Climate Summit in Glasgow.

In the draft, the G20 group reaffirmed its goal of a “large-scale” carbon dioxide-free electricity sector in the 2030s. Originally, according to information from the DPA, there was an “overwhelming” majority talk in the power sector that should be free of carbon dioxide. States therefore want to “make their own effort” to avoid building new coal-fired power plants, although exceptions are allowed “taking into account national circumstances”.

It is believed that the “gap” between the submitted action plans and the Paris objectives should be closed. According to a recent United Nations report, the efforts of the international community are nowhere near enough. With the latest climate promises made by countries, greenhouse gases will be reduced by only 7.5 percent by 2030. However, a 1.5 degree target would require 55 percent — 30 percent for a 2 degree one.

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© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211028-99-766110 / 2

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