The G20 group of rich nations failed to agree on phasing out coal by 2025 at a meeting of energy and environment ministers on Friday marking 100 days until the crucial COP26 climate talks begin in Scotland in November.
At the meeting in Naples all G20 nations agreed to set new climate plans to significantly reduce emissions by 2030 to be on track to reach net zero by 2050, and to submit those plans to the United Nations, ideally before the Glasgow talks begin.
But observers from climate groups saw the failure to agree on a rapid phase-out of coal as a setback to the prospects of reaching an agreement to keep global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees as possible at those talks.
According to the observers, G7 nations as well as Mexico and South Korea supported a more ambitious plan to phase out the use of unabated coal power by 2025, which was opposed by nations including Russia, India, Saudi Arabia and China.
Italy’s Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani told reporters the disputed issues would now be discussed at a G20 summit in Rome in October.
“Our common house is on fire, and the world’s biggest countries need to come together to put it out,” said Alden Meyer, a senior associate with the United Kingdom-based climate change think tank E3G.
Eddy Perez of Climate Action Network Canada said G20 Ministers failed to demonstrate their full determination to put differences aside to strengthen the global response to limit global warming to 1.5C.
“A minority of G20 ministers continue to sit on the wrong side of history by promoting the expansion of fossil fuels,” he said.
Source: The Age