BAMBOLIM, India (July 22) (Reuters) – A meeting of the Group of 20 major economies in India on Saturday failed to reach consensus on phasing out fossil fuels after objections from some producing countries.
Scientists and activists are angry that international bodies have been slow to act to curb global warming, even as extreme weather from China to the United States underscores the climate crisis the world faces.
G20 member countries collectively account for more than three-quarters of global emissions and gross domestic product, and the group’s cumulative decarbonization efforts are essential in the global fight against climate change.
However, disagreements, including tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030, led the officials to release the results statement and chair’s summary rather than a joint statement at the end of their four-day meeting in Bambolim, in the coastal Indian state of Goa.
A joint statement is issued when there is complete agreement among the member states on all issues.
“We have come to complete agreement on 22 of the 29 paragraphs, and seven paragraphs make up the President’s Summary,” Indian Energy Minister RK Singh said.
The sections urging developed countries to achieve the goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion annually for climate action in developing economies from 2020 to 2025, and describing the war in Ukraine, also fall short.
Fossil fuel use emerged as a concern in the day-long discussions, two people familiar with the matter said, but officials failed to reach consensus on reducing use “relentlessly” and sparred over language outlining the way forward for emissions cuts.
“The importance of making efforts to gradually and relentlessly reduce the use of fossil fuels according to different national circumstances was emphasized,” said a draft seen by Reuters on Friday evening.
However, the chair’s statement released Saturday night included concerns from some member states that were missing from Friday’s draft, noting that “others have differing views on whether mitigation and removal techniques will address these concerns.”
Singh, at a press briefing after the conference, said some countries want to use carbon capture instead of phasing out fossil fuels. He did not mention the names of the countries.
Major fossil fuel producers in Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, South Africa and Indonesia are known to oppose the goal of tripling renewable energy capacity this decade.
Additional reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan and Nidhi Verma in Bambolim. Editing by William Mallard and Andrew Cawthorne
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