G20 leaders commit to work for successful agreement in Paris

The G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, closed on Monday (Nov. 16) with Paris attacks of Nov. 13 putting terrorism concerns center-stage and leaving little room for progress on the upcoming climate negotiations.

In his speech to the government representatives of 26 countries attending the meeting, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that the success of “the critically important climate conference in Paris”, COP21, “truly rests in your hands”, as G20 account for more than three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions. Ban Ki-moon also listed four essential elements that need to come from a Paris agreement that must be “durable”, “flexible”, and “credible” and “must demonstrate solidarity with the poor and most vulnerable”.

In the final communiqué, the G20 leaders reaffirmed the below 2°C goal, announced they are prepared to implement the respective contributions, or INDC, and committed “to work together for a successful outcome of the COP21”.

The communiqué, largely unchanged from the draft document previously reported by Reuters, also addresses critical issues such as global economic growth, the refugee crisis, taxation, cyber security and inequality.

Charities and climate campaigners pointed out that the G20 summit delivered little progress in addressing key points still to be disentangled at COP21: review mechanisms and strategies to increase ambition, climate finance and burden-sharing.

The meeting also added little details on actions the G20 members are asked to undertake to reduce and phase out fossil fuels subsidies, currently amounting to 452 billion annually. In their final statement, G20 leaders reaffirmed their commitment “to rationalize and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, over the medium term, recognizing the need to support the poor”.


(Image: UK PM David Cameron and other European leaders hold a minute’s silence at the G20 Summit for the victims of terrorist attacks in Paris. Photo credit: Number 10 (PM David Cameron)/Flickr)