G20 agrees to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees ahead of key COP26 meet

Officials reportedly worked through the night to toughen up the language ahead of crucial UN talks on climate.

Climate change
The Group of 20 major economies emit nearly 80 per cent of carbon emissions.

A declaration, expected to be released later on Sunday, will talk about keeping the 1.5 degrees Celsius target “within reach”, as leaders of the Group of 20 countries agreed on the need to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels on the final day of the Rome summit.

AFP quoted sources as saying that 20 countries have agreed on the need to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in language tougher than the 2015 Paris accords. Diplomats had approved language for a final summit communique going beyond what was agreed six years ago, when the landmark climate deal called for capping global warming at well below 2 degrees, and ideally closer to 1.5 degrees.

The agency further said that officials worked through the night to toughen up the language ahead of crucial UN talks on climate starting in Glasgow on Sunday.

“The decisions we make today will have a direct impact on the success of the Glasgow summit and ultimately on our ability to tackle the climate crisis. We need to set long-term goals which are consistent with the objectives of the Paris agreement and make short-term changes to achieve them,” Italian PM Mario Draghi said while opening formal discussions on climate on the second and final day of the Rome summit which PM Narendra Modi is attending.

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According to experts, meeting the 1.5 degrees target means slashing global emissions nearly in half by 2030 and to “net-zero” by 2050. The Group of 20 major economies emit nearly 80 per cent of carbon emissions, and a promise of action on their part would provide a boost to the make-or-break COP26 summit.

The UN’s COP26 climate summit will be attended by almost 200 countries in Scotland where most of the G20 leaders will fly directly from Rome.

UN experts believe that if current national plans to curb emissions are fully implemented, the world is headed for global warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius. China, the largest carbon emitter, is aiming for net zero in 2060, while the US, the second largest emitter, has set 2050 as the deadline to reach net zero and says it will decarbonise its power sector by 2035.

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