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Where is the money? Climate activists question the G20 as talks leave




Activists from the Avaaz campaign group, wearing masks depicting Argentine footballer Diego Armando Maradona, hold a protest calling for debt relief for the climate as G20 climate and environment ministers hold a meeting in Naples, Italy, 22 July 2021. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane

NAPLES, July 22 (Reuters) – Environment and energy ministers from the Group of 20 rich nations were making little progress Thursday on how to achieve climate goals, officials said, with a group of countries resisting any set commitments.

The G20 summit in Naples is discussing the natural environment on Thursday, and energy and climate change on Friday, and diplomats have struggled for days to find common ground to make joint statements on both topics.

“Texts are getting weaker and weaker,” said an official familiar with the Italy-led talks, which holds the rotating annual G20 presidency.

A fourth draft of the environmental statement seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed a lack of clear policy plans and was still full of brackets about phrases that remained to be agreed upon.

The G20 summit is seen as a key intermediate stage ahead of the global climate talks known as COP 26 to be held in Glasgow in November.

The urgency of climate action has been brought about this month by deadly floods in Europe, wildfires in the United States and strong temperatures in Siberia, but countries remain at odds over how to pay for costly policies to reduce global warming.

Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia were among the countries that continue to resist the Italian presidency’s efforts to strengthen language in the G20 statements, officials said.

“It looks like there will be a complete lack of any commitment on the money,” said Oscar Soria of US-based online activist group Avaaz.

“The north is saying to the south ‘we need to protect the environment’ and the south is saying ‘we need money for this’, and the Italian presidency is not doing very well to put everyone on the same page.” he said.

Developed countries agreed at the United Nations in 2009 to contribute together $ 100 billion annually by 2020 to climate finance in the poorest countries, many of which are facing rising seas, storms and droughts. made worse by climate change.

However, that objective has not yet been met.

Excluding last-minute progress, it seems unlikely that the Naples G20 summit will make reference to $ 100 billion or make any other strong financial commitments.

“The tragic weather-related events we have seen these months and even the last few days prove that our climate system is suffering from severe disruption,” said Italy’s Transitional Ecology Minister Roberto Cingolani, opening Thursday’s talks.

Cingolani, who often warns about the costs of combating climate change, said if the financial system is not made in line with sustainable development needs it will have “catastrophic consequences” for future generations.

Reporting By Gavin Jones; Edited by Crispian Balmer and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: Principles of Trust of Thomson Reuters.




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