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G20 to call for ‘immediate action’ on limiting global warming

The Group of 20 large industrialized nations wants to call for "immediate action" to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees at this weekend's summit in Rome.

Rome, 28 October 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The Group of 20 large industrialized nations wants to call for “immediate action” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees at this weekend’s summit in Rome.

But delegations preparing the summit have not yet agreed whether the G20 will also commit to a common goal of net zero emissions of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide neutrality by 2050, according a draft of summit’s final declaration seen by dpa.

The G20 countries together are responsible for more than 75 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The group recognizes that the impacts of climate change are much lower if global warming increases by 1.5 degrees than if it increases by 2 degrees, “and that immediate action must be taken to keep 1.5 degrees within reach,” the draft reads.

“We acknowledge the key relevance of achieving global net zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality [by 2050],” the draft reads further, with the aimed-for year 2050 still in brackets.

China has so far generally only committed to carbon neutrality by 2060.

The draft also reaffirms a commitment to reducing emissions in the energy sector with a view to achieving “largely decarbonized power systems” in the 2030s.

The G20 countries also aim to do their “utmost” to avoid building new unabated coal power generation capacity, but note that “national circumstances” will be taken into account.

“We commit to put an end to the provision of international public finance for newly built unabated coal power generation by the end of 2021 and to mobilize international public finance to support green and inclusive energy development,” the draft concludes.

Following the meeting, the G20 leaders will join other delegations at the COP26 world climate conference in Glasgow.

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, has called on participants at the climate conference to take concrete action.

“It is time to put empty speeches, broken promises, and unfulfilled pledges behind us,” she said. “We need laws to be passed, programmes to be implemented and investments to be swiftly and properly funded, without further delay.”

This is the only way to avert natural and environmental disasters or at least to mitigate their consequences, Bachelet added. Above all, poor and marginalized people must be helped, as they are those who most affected by the consequences of climate change.

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