G20 agrees to pursue bids to limit temperature rise to 1.5C, in boost to COP27 talks

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Leaders at the G20 meeting in Bali on Wednesday agreed to pursue efforts to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius and recognized the need to speed up efforts to phase down coal use, in a potential boost to the COP27 climate talks.

Delegates at the UN climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where progress towards an agreement by the end of the week has been slow, have been watching the G20 summit closely for signs that developed nations are willing to make new commitments on climate.

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“Mindful of our leadership role, we reaffirm our steadfast commitments, in pursuit of the objective of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) to tackle climate change by strengthening the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and its temperature goal,” a declaration issued at the end of the meeting said.

World governments agreed in 2015 during a UN summit in France to try to limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, a deal dubbed the Paris Agreement that was seen as a breakthrough in international climate ambition.

“We resolve to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. This will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries,” the G20 statement said.

US Special Climate Envoy John Kerry said on Saturday that a few countries had resisted mentioning the 1.5C goal in the official text of the COP27 summit.

The G20 declaration urged delegates at COP27 to “urgently scale up” efforts at the summit on the issue of mitigating and adapting to climate change.

It also made reference to the need to accelerate “efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power, in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards just transitions.”

India, the world’s second-biggest buyer of coal, wants countries to agree to phase down all fossil fuels rather than a narrower deal to phase down coal that was agreed at COP26 last year.

“We will play our part fully in implementing the (COP26) Glasgow Climate Pact,” the G20 leaders said.

The statement also reaffirmed an international goal to phase out “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” and urged developed nations to meet their commitments to provide $100 billion a year for climate mitigation.

Read more: US President Biden says ‘life of the planet’ at stake in climate crisis

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