G20 leaders agree on 1.5 degree climate target
Group of 20 leaders sent a symbolic message on Sunday at the start of one of the world’s largest climate conferences, pledging to “continue efforts” to keep the global average temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius by the end of this century.
Although mentioning the number, seen as a critical threshold for limiting the most serious effects of climate change, was a step forward, leaders did not specify how their countries would reduce their emissions more aggressively to achieve this goal. .
“We remain committed to the Paris Agreement target of keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2 Â° C and continuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 Â° C above levels pre-industrial, also as a means of enabling the achievement of Agenda 2030. “, the leaders said in a statement.
Saying that they “look forward to a successful climate conference,” the leaders said: “We recognize that the impacts of climate change at 1.5 Â° C are much lower than those at 2 Â° C.”
In addition, G20 leaders pledged to end public funding for coal-fired power plants in countries outside their own.
As symbolic as the 1.5 degree engagement was, it was not unimportant, noted Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. “Now, for the first time, all G20 countries” recognize the scientific merit of the 1.5 degree target, he said.
The scientific consensus is that if the average global temperature rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius – 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit – it will dramatically increase the likelihood of much worse weather disasters that could exacerbate hunger, disease and conflict. This consensus appeared in a landmark report a few years after the conclusion of the Paris Agreement in 2015, which set the target at “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.
The language of the declaration sends an important signal to the United Nations-led international climate summit which kicked off in Glasgow on Sunday. Its host, Britain and the United States, made the 1.5-degree target a rallying cry.
The G20 countries account for the vast majority of local greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet, and they hold the key to avoiding the worst consequences of global warming.
âKeeping 1.5 Â° C within reach,â the leaders said in their statement on Sunday, âwill require meaningful and effective actions and commitment from all countries, taking into account the different approaches, through the development of pathways. national policies that align long-term ambition with short- and medium-term goals, and with international cooperation and support, including sustainable and responsible finance and technology, consumption and production as essential enablers, in the context of sustainable development.
Right now, however, reaching a cap of 1.5 degrees is a very ambitious goal.
Even if all countries meet the targets they set for themselves in the Paris Agreement, global average temperatures are set to increase by 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Achieving the target would require large polluting countries to step up those targets, or nationally determined contributions as they are called, by committing to reduce their emissions much faster by 2030.
Leaders pledged to “take further action this decade” and update their plans as necessary.