Fri, Jun 28, 2019 - Page 6 News List

G20 nations at odds over climate change communique

Reuters, TOKYO

G20 negotiators are wrangling over the wording of a summit communique on combating climate change, with the US pushing to downgrade the language against European opposition, according to sources and drafts of the text.

The arguments are a reprise of tussles over climate change that have stymied talks in multilateral forums since US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of a landmark agreement to limit the effects of climate change.

The latest draft includes language supporting the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement and saying the accord signed by 200 nations is “irreversible.”

An earlier draft did not include such language at the insistence of the US, two sources familiar with the discussions over the communique said.

Further changes to the communique are likely before the final adoption of the text tomorrow by G20 leaders in Osaka for this week’s summit, but the inclusion of stronger language came as French President Emmanuel Macron said that his nation would not accept a text that does not mention the Paris Agreement.

“If we don’t talk about the Paris Agreement and if we don’t get an agreement on it among the 20 members in the room, we are no longer capable of defending our climate change goals and France will not be part of this,” Macron said in Tokyo on Wednesday before heading to Osaka.

France was one of the main drivers behind the Paris Agreement and the French parliament is debating an energy bill that targets net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Negotiations on the topic of climate will be especially difficult this time,” a German government official said on Wednesday.

Nations in Paris agreed to limit the global average rise from preindustrial temperatures to well below 2°C, but current policies put the world on track for at least a 3°C rise by the end of the century, according to a UN report in 2016.

Investors managing more than US$34 trillion of assets, nearly half the world’s invested capital, on Wednesday piled pressure on G20 leaders, demanding urgent action from governments on climate change.

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