G20 make commitments on climate neutrality, coal financing

G20 make commitments on climate neutrality, coal financing

Rome: Leaders of the world's biggest economies made a compromise commitment Sunday to reach carbon neutrality by or around mid-century as they wrapped up a two-day summit that was laying the groundwork for the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to the final communique, the Group of 20 leaders also agreed to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad, but set no target for phasing out coal domestically a clear nod to coal-dependent countries including China and India and a blow to Britain which had hoped for more solid commitments ahead of the Glasgow meeting.

The Group of 20 countries represent more than three-quarters of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and summit host Italy had been looking for solid targets on how to reduce emissions while helping poor countries deal with the impact of rising temperatures.

Without them, momentum could be lost for the larger annual talks that officially opened Sunday in Glasgow and where countries from around the globe will be represented, including poor ones most vulnerable to rising seas, desertification and other effects.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi told the leaders going into the final working session Sunday that they needed both to set long-term goals and make short-term changes to reach them.

We must accelerate the phasing-out of coal and invest more in renewable energy," he said. We also need to make sure that we use available resources wisely, which means that we should become able to adapt our technologies and also our lifestyles to this new world."

According to the communique, the G-20 reaffirmed past commitments by rich countries to mobilize 100 billion annually to help poorer countries cope with climate change, and committed to scaling up financing for helping them adapt.

The sticking point remained the deadline to reach carbon neutrality or net zero emissions, meaning a balance between greenhouse gases added to and removed from the atmosphere. Going into the summit Italy had all-but conceded it would only be able to secure commitments to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century," rather than a specific year.

Next Story
Share it