Strained G20 climate talks could yet deliver progress on coal
Published : Monday, 26 July, 2021 at 11:45 PM Count : 548
Climate campaigners voiced frustration a meeting of ministers from the world's richest countries failed to deliver a deal to phase out coal, but said pledges in the final communique gave hope for a breakthrough in time for U.N. talks later this year.
The communique was only released at nearly midnight on Friday, hours after the energy and environment ministers finished tense talks, and the full documents were not available until Sunday.
In his closing news conference, Italian Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani, who chaired the gathering, said negotiations had been exhausting and it had been impossible to agree on all issues. read more
The sticking points were a target date of 2025 for the complete phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, which some developed countries had sought, and fixing dates to end the international financing of coal projects and to phase out coal power.
After major emitters China and India refused to sign up to both points, Cingolani issued a separate statement asking G20 leaders to seek an accord on them at a summit in October.
Some think tanks said the meeting had improved the chances of significant progress in October, and more importantly at United Nations climate talks, known as COP 26, which take place in Glasgow in November.
They pointed to a commitment by so-far non-compliant nations to present before the COP 26 "ambitious" medium- and long-term plans for cutting emissions, and to a common aim to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7°F) above pre-industrial levels.
India, South Africa, and South Korea are among countries who have yet to submit their emission-cutting plans.