G20 to pursue efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5ºC

In a potential boost for the COP27 climate talks, leaders at the G20 summit in Bali agreed to pursue efforts to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5ºCelsius and acknowledged the need to accelerate efforts to phase out coal use.

At the UN climate meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where progress towards an agreement has been slow by the end of the week, delegates have been keenly monitoring the G20 summit for indications that developed nations are willing to make new climate pledges.

“Mindful of our leadership role, we reaffirm our steadfast commitments in pursuit of the objective of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) to tackle climate change by strengthening the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and its temperature goal,” a declaration issued at the end of the meeting said.

In 2015, during a United Nations summit in France, world governments agreed to strive to restrict the average global temperature rise to 1.5ºC (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times, an accord termed the Paris Agreement that was considered a milestone in international climate ambition.

“We resolve to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. This will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries,” the G20 statement said.

John Kerry, US Special Envoy for Climate Change, stated on November 12 that a few countries resisted, including the 1.5ºC target in the formal text of the COP27 summit. (COP27 UN Climate Change Conference LIVE UPDATE: Egypt)

The G20 declaration urged participants to COP27 to “urgently step up” climate change mitigation and adaptation measures at the meeting.

In addition, it mentioned the need to speed “efforts toward the phasedown of unabated coal power, in accordance with national conditions and acknowledging the need for support towards just transitions.”

India, the second-largest coal user in the world, wants governments to agree to phase down all fossil fuels, not just coal, as agreed upon at COP26 last year.

“We will play our part fully in implementing the (COP26) Glasgow Climate Pact,” the G20 leaders said.

In addition, the statement underlined the worldwide objective to eliminate “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” and urged wealthy nations to fulfil their pledges to provide $100 billion each year for climate mitigation.

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