g20 summit

The G20 summit held in India over the weekend fell short of achieving a consensus on the gradual reduction of fossil fuels, as certain producer nations raised objections to the proposal.

Global scientists and activists are growing increasingly frustrated with the sluggish response of international bodies in combating climate change, especially in the face of severe weather events across regions like China and the United States, which underscore the urgency of the climate crisis.

Collectively responsible for more than three-quarters of global emissions and gross domestic product, the G20 member countries play a pivotal role in the fight against climate change, making coordinated decarbonization efforts crucial.

Despite the significance of their mission, disagreements among the member nations, particularly concerning the target of tripling renewable energy capacities by 2030, led to the issuance of an outcome statement and a chair summary instead of a joint communique at the conclusion of the four-day meeting in Bambolim, India.

A joint communique, signifying unanimous agreement among member nations on all matters, was unattainable on this occasion.

Indian Power Minister R.K. Singh clarified, “We had a complete agreement on 22 out of 29 paragraphs, and seven paragraphs constitute the Chair summary.”

Contentious points included calls for developed countries to fulfill their commitment to jointly mobilize $100 billion per year for climate action in developing economies from 2020 to 2025, and discussions surrounding the conflict in Ukraine, which also failed to reach a consensus.

Fossil fuel usage took center stage in the day-long deliberations, but officials could not agree on measures to curb “unabated” use and grappled with the wording that described the path to emission reduction, according to reliable sources familiar with the matter.

A draft document reviewed on Friday and obtained by Reuters emphasized the importance of making efforts towards the phasedown of unabated fossil fuels, considering different national circumstances.

However, the chair statement released on Saturday evening incorporated concerns raised by certain member nations that were absent in the Friday draft. It acknowledged that “others had different views on the matter, suggesting that abatement and removal technologies will address such concerns.”

In a press briefing after the conference, Minister Singh revealed that some countries were in favor of using carbon capture instead of a gradual reduction of fossil fuels. However, he did not disclose the names of these countries.

It’s worth noting that major fossil fuel producers like Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, South Africa, and Indonesia have all expressed opposition to the goal of tripling renewable energy capacity within this decade.


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