“Closing the window of action” – The G20 urged to increase its climate commitments
BRUSSELS, Oct.21 (Reuters) – Denmark, Costa Rica, the Marshall Islands and six other countries on Thursday urged the world’s largest economies to increase their climate commitments, warning their actions would set the tone for the upcoming COP26 summit in Scotland .
Extreme weather events and increasingly urgent calls by scientists to curb global warming are increasing pressure on lawmakers who will meet in Glasgow later this month to discuss action to reduce their carbon emissions. Read more
“The window to take decisive climate action is closing quickly,” said the letter, seen by Reuters, which was sent to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the current chairman of the G20 rich nations club.
G20 leaders will meet in Rome on October 30 and 31 for a summit. Climate change will be high on the agenda, with deep divisions over rapid emission reductions, scientists say, are needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. [nL1N2RH0JV]
The meeting will “set the tone” for COP26, which will begin on Oct. 31, according to the letter. Signatories also include Grenada, which, like the Marshall Islands, is particularly vulnerable to climate impacts such as storms and rising sea levels, as well as Sweden, Latvia, Belgium, Estonia and Ireland.
“Our message is very clear, we need the G20 to step up and raise its ambitions before we meet in Glasgow,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.
Britain, the EU and the US climate envoys are making a last-minute diplomatic effort to land more ambitious commitments in time for the summit.
But the consensus seems far away. Sources said on Wednesday that within days of the G20 meeting, countries are still divided over their commitment to phase out coal. Read more
Meanwhile, a group of like-minded developing countries this week released a statement criticizing developed countries for expecting poorer countries to commit to tighter emissions targets when countries wealthy have broken their own promises to cut CO2 emissions.
The group, which includes China, India and Saudi Arabia, also said richer countries had failed to deliver on pledges of $ 100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries to fight against climate change.
Their letter called on the G20 to increase climate finance commitments, which some members, including the United States, Canada and Germany, did earlier this year.
The EU participates in G20 meetings. France, Germany and Italy are members of both.
EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss issues such as preparations for COP26, just as the sharp rise in gas prices has revealed disagreements between countries over the bloc’s common plans to fight change climate. Read more
Reporting by Kate Abnett and Isla Binnie; Editing by Catherine Evans
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