G20 environment ministers in Naples, Italy, concluded a “hard-fought summit” yesterday, reports the Financial Times, which “at times appeared to be on the brink of disintegrating”.
The newspaper continues: “In the final communiqué, published on Sunday after a series of delays, ministers said they would boost their climate targets, known as ‘nationally determined contributions’, ahead of the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. However the ministers failed to reach agreement on phasing out coal, or removing subsidies for fossil fuels, because of opposition from Russia, China, India and Saudi Arabia.
In a sign of how fraught the talks were, meetings in Naples ran through the night on Thursday evening, and final communiqué text was published on Sunday, a day and a half later than expected.” Reuters says: “The failure to agree common language ahead of that gathering is likely to be seen as a setback to hopes of securing a meaningful accord in Scotland.” Axios agrees, saying the deadlock “foreshadows difficult negotiations looming for this fall’s critical climate summit”. Bloomberg says: “Ending the use of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, was a major sticking point. Italy, which is hosting the G20 meeting, pushed to include that goal within the official communiqué…However, a number of countries including India and Russia resisted.” The outlet quotes Alok Sharma, the incoming COP26 president: “It is frustrating that despite the progress made by some countries, there was no consensus in Naples to confine coal to history.“ The Press Association carries the reaction of musician and campaigner Bob Geldof who “accused the G20 leaders of failing to act on climate change, and called for a global carbon tax to fight the ‘disaster’”.