The heads of State or Government of the G-20 group, which account for 80% of the planet’s gross domestic product, reached an agreement in principle on the final conclusions of the summit this Sunday in Rome. On the hottest issue of climate change, leaders promise that their countries will strive to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level, a declaration of intent that is not accompanied by any major concrete commitments. The agreement confirms that “the impact of climate change with 1.5 degrees is much lower than with 2. Keeping the 1.5 objective viable will require significant and effective commitments and actions on the part of all countries,” says the final statement. The document also contains a promise to accelerate efforts to eliminate and rationalize fossil fuel subsidies; it contemplates a commitment not to finance the most polluting types of coal plants abroad; reaffirms the “importance” of complying with the agreement to mobilize some 100 billion dollars annually for the most vulnerable countries and accelerate the transfer of technology to those countries to facilitate their ecological transition.
The G-20 summit works as a run-up to COP-26, which starts today in Glasgow. The conclusions in Rome are interpreted as an important political message from the world’s most important economies on the eve of the environmental negotiation that will have to define details and commitments in the future of the global fight against climate change.
Mario Draghi, Italian Prime Minister and host of the event, warned in the presentation that opened the day that “the war against climate change is the challenge that will define this era.” “We must act now, face the cost of the transition and succeed in changing our economic model to a more sustainable one. If we delay, we will pay a much higher price and risk failure. “
The second day also served to hold new bilateral meetings, such as the one that brought together French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In the midst of the conflict over fishing, the French leader responded to threats from his counterpart and called for international rules to be respected. An adviser to Macron, according to Reuters, said that “the objective of both was to reduce” the tension and conflict in recent days. The same adviser assured that Macron now expected “seriousness” and “respect” after days of threats.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, and discussed the escalating tensions between Beijing and Taiwan. During a meeting that lasted about an hour and a half, Blinken expressed with “crystal clarity”, according to Reuters, that Washington opposes any unilateral change in the status quo of relations between the two Asian countries. A gesture that the Taiwanese government had been waiting for for days.
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