The heads of UN Climate and COP28 on Thursday called on the G20 to give a “clear signal” to “accelerate the decarbonization” of the global economy, in a rare joint statement.
Urgent call for G20 action on fossil fuel reduction
It was published on the eve of the G20 Environment Ministers’ summit in India. A week earlier, the G20 energy ministers, meeting in India on July 22, left without reaching agreement on a timetable for reducing fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal).
The conclusions of this meeting “did not give a sufficiently clear signal for the transformation of the global energy system, the development of renewable and clean energies, and the gradual and responsible reduction of fossil fuels”, deplore Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Sultan Al Jaber, Emirati President of the UN Climate Conference which will meet at the end of the year in Dubai.
The G20’s difficulties in reaching an agreement contrast with the G7’s commitment in Japan in May to “accelerate” their “exit” from fossil fuels, at a time when global temperatures are breaking records due to global warming, with its attendant heatwaves, floods and fires.
“The G20 is responsible for 85% of global GDP, but also for 80% of global emissions” of greenhouse gases, responsible for global warming, point out the head of UN Climate and the president of COP28, who is also CEO of Adnoc, the Emirates’ national oil company. Consequently, “G20 leadership is indispensable”, they insist.
“We need to leave Chennai (Madras)”, where the G20 environment and climate ministers are due to meet on Friday, “with a clear signal that the political will to tackle the climate crisis is there”.
For these two leading figures in the climate negotiations, it’s a question of “taking the necessary steps to accelerate our inevitable decarbonization in a responsible manner (…) and supporting a just transition”.
“To achieve this, it is essential to triple global renewable energy capacity and double the rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030, including accelerating electrification and improving air-conditioning solutions,” say the two leaders.
They are also calling for G20 support for the establishment of a fund to cover the losses and damage suffered by less developed economies as a result of climate change, mainly caused by the historical emissions of rich countries.