Two days of discussion later, leaders from the G20 have issued their last communique. The leaders of G20 pledged to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is in addition the Paris climate deal target.
In the post-summit communique, the leaders of the world’s largest economies called for “meaningful and effective” action to limit global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, Reuters reported shortly before the final document’s release.
Although the 1.5 degree target is higher than that set by Paris, it reportedly lists few specific actions to be taken. Furthermore, while multiple countries – including the US and oil producer Saudi Arabia – have pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2050, no reference to this date is made in the text of the communique, Reuters reported.
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However, the communique contains a promise to end public funding of coal-fired power stations abroad by the close of the year and all coal power generally “as soon as possible.”G20 leaders stated they will commit $100 billion annually until 2025 in aid to the developing world.
It was published on the exact same day as the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which begins in Glasgow. This is where concrete targets for emissions and investment in renewable energie will be addressed in more detail.
Two weeks from now, leaders around the world will issue an array of environmental proclamations. These include subsidies for electric cars, the elimination of fossil fuels and pledges to stop deforestation. The US President Joe Biden will announce over $500 billion of new funding for environmental programs as part of the massive spending bill currently under intense debate in Congress.
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The participating countries have different views on the best way to manage environmentalism while still allowing for economic growth. Germany, for example, embraced wind power in recent years, only to fall back on coal when the wind literally failed to blow.
Some green power efforts can be seen as counterproductive. In the UK, one massive coal-fired power plant in Yorkshire was converted to burn biomass, but recent reports suggest that this supposedly carbon-neutral plant releases more carbon dioxide and harmful particulates than some of Europe’s worst coal facilities.
Vladimir Putin of Russia made an appearance in person at the G20 this Sunday and demanded that there be a transparent assessment about how much power sources actually emit. His observation was that solar energy is four times as dirty than nuclear power. Putin suggested that the international community must test different climate projects for their effect on emissions by dollar of investment. “It may well turn out that, for example, conservation of forests in Russia or in Latin America would be more effective than investing in renewables in some nations,”He said.
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