Rich countries sound climate alarm as calls for action mount – World

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ROME: Leaders of the 20 richest countries will recognize the existential threat of climate change and take urgent action to limit the global alert, according to a draft press release presented ahead of the COP26 summit.

As people around the world braced to show their frustration with politicians, Pope Francis lent his voice to a chorus demanding action, not just words, of the meeting that kicked off Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Group of 20, whose leaders met Saturday and Sunday in Rome, will pledge to take urgent action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

While the 2015 Paris Agreement committed signatories to keeping global warming “well below” 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and preferably 1.5 degrees, carbon levels in the atmosphere have increased. since increased.

“We are committed to meeting the existential challenge of climate change,” promised the G20 project, seen by Reuters.

“We recognize that the impacts of climate change at 1.5 degrees are much smaller than at 2 degrees and that immediate action must be taken to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday the world was rushing headlong into climate catastrophe and G20 leaders must do more to help poorer countries.

“Unfortunately, the message to developing countries is basically this: the check is in the mail. On all of our climate goals, we have miles to go. And we have to pick up the pace, ”Guterres said.

Climate activist Greta, who berated politicians for 30 years for “blah, blah, blah” is among those who have taken to the streets of the City of London, the financial heart of the British capital, to demand that the world’s largest financial firms are withdrawing their support for fossil fuels.

US BACK IN THE Mêlée

US President Joe Biden will join leaders at G20 meeting after a setback on Thursday when the House of Representatives dropped its plan to vote on a $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill, which would have been the largest investment in climate action in US history.

Biden had hoped to reach an agreement before COP26, where he wants to present a message that the United States has resumed the fight against global warming.

The 84-year-old Pope will not attend COP26 after surgery earlier this year, but on Friday he led the calls to action in talks which run from Oct.31 to Nov.12.

The political leaders of the world, he said, must give future generations “concrete hope” that they take the necessary radical measures.

“These crises present us with the need to make decisions, radical decisions that are not always easy,” he said. “Difficult times like these also present opportunities that we should not waste. “

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting COP26, said this week the outcome was at stake.

Britain on Friday sought to align companies more closely with net zero liabilities by becoming the first G20 country to mandate a set of global voluntary disclosure standards on climate-related risks for large companies.

But the heads of Europe’s largest oil and gas companies, among the big companies notable for their absence at COP26, have said only governments can effectively curb demand for fossil fuels.

SURVIVAL

The statement from the G20 countries, which are responsible for about 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, said members recognize “the key importance of achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions or the carbon neutrality by 2050 “.

But countries on the climate front and grappling with rising sea levels want action taken now.

“We need concrete action now. We can’t wait until 2050, it’s a question of survival, ”said Anote Tong, a former president of Kiribati.

Tong predicted that his country of 33 atolls and low-lying islands would likely become uninhabitable in 30 to 60 years.

UN climate experts say 2050 deadline crucial to reach 1.5 degree limit, but some of the world’s biggest polluters say they can’t reach it, China, by far largest carbon emitter, targeting 2060.

Britain’s Johnson said he urged Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday to do more to reduce his country’s dependence on coal and to advance his forecast for peaks in emissions.

“I pushed a bit (peak emissions), that 2025 would be better than 2030, and I wouldn’t say he’s committed to that,” Johnson said.

Xi is not expected to attend the conference in person.

In the draft G20 communiqué, the 2050 date for net zero emissions appears in parentheses, indicating that it is still under negotiation.

Current commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions put the planet on track for an average temperature increase of 2.7 ° C this century, according to a United Nations report on Tuesday.

Pacific Island leaders have said they will demand immediate action in Glasgow.

“We do not have the luxury of time and must join forces urgently and deliver the ambition required at COP26 to safeguard the future of all humanity and our planet,” said Henry Puna, former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands and now Secretary of the Pacific Islands. Forum.


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