The G20 sends a mixed signal in the fight against global warming

From one crisis to another, from one summit to another. Participants in the COP26, which opened on Sunday, October 31 in Glasgow, spent the day with their eyes fixed on the final G20 talks in Rome. Their hopes for a favorable signal in the fight against climate change will have been half fulfilled by the twenty main economies of the planet (European Union, United States, China, India, etc.), responsible for 80% of emissions. global greenhouse gas emissions.

The G20 countries have welcomed this: they will not arrive empty-handed at the United Nations climate conference, where 196 countries and more than 30,000 delegates have converged in recent hours to try to accelerate the fight against global warming, which is worsening to unprecedented levels. After two days of summit, heads of state and government of the G20 have certainly found a compromise likely to give a minimum of impetus to the COP26, despite the fractures of the moment, exacerbated by the pandemic of Covid-19.

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But, to spare sensitivities, they also made dead ends which risk being so many gaps difficult to fill in the debates of the climate conference. And the commitments on which they agreed on Sunday in Rome may not be sufficient to bring a real wind of hope to the COP26.

” Not enough “

“I welcome the renewed commitment of the G20 to global solutions, but I leave Rome with dashed hopes – even if they are not buried”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Twitter. “We have made reasonable progress at the G20, but it is not enough”, also estimated the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose country chairs the COP26. And to warn: “If Glasgow fails, that’s all that fails. “

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The final G20 communiqué, negotiated overnight from Saturday to Sunday, thus reaffirms the objectives of the Paris climate agreement, sealed in 2015, namely “Keep the average temperature increase well below 2 ° C and continue efforts to limit it to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels”. He adds that the impacts of climate change will be “Much weaker at 1.5 ° C than at 2 ° C” and “Keeping 1.5 ° C within range will require significant and effective actions and commitments from all countries.” He also notes the need to “Take new steps in this decade”. “These mentions are an important signal”, judge Alden Meyer, expert at the E3G think tank and expert in climate negotiations. The game was not won because many countries were braking four irons, such as India, Russia or Saudi Arabia.

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