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‘The G-20 let the world down’: Leaders blasted by activists for lack of progress on climate change

‘The G-20 let the world down’: Leaders blasted by activists for lack of progress on climate change

Activists have reacted with anger as the world’s largest economies made few firm commitments on climate at a G-20 summit in Italy.

World leaders acknowledged there would need to be “meaningful and effective actions” to mitigate temperature rises in a written agreement released Sunday, but did not commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by a set date.

The G-20, or Group of Twenty, is made up of 19 countries including the U.S., U.K., Russia, China and Brazil, as well as the European Union, and accounts for around 80% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, said the statement “was weak, lacking both ambition and vision, and simply failed to meet the moment,” in an online release Sunday.

World leaders attended the G-20 meeting in Rome at the weekend before traveling to Glasgow, U.K., for the start of the U.N.’s Conference of the Parties, the climate summit known as COP26.

Morgan urged leaders attending COP26 this week to “cut emissions drastically right now, to stay in line with 1.5C.”

Almost 200 countries agreed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels as part of the Paris Agreement in 2015. And earlier this year a U.N. report called for immediate emissions reductions.

But while the G-20 statement said it “remains committed” to the Paris Agreement, further details were vague. “We recognize that the impacts of climate change at 1.5°C are much lower than at 2°C. Keeping 1.5°C within reach will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries,” it said.

Antonio Guterres, the U.N.’s secretary general, appeared disappointed with progress from the G-20 meeting.
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