G20 commits to achieving net zero emissions by mid-century | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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G20 commits to achieving net zero emissions by mid-century

ByJayashree Nandi
Sep 09, 2023 05:31 PM IST

In a consensus declaration adopted after the resolution of differences over the wording related to Ukraine, the bloc said the global implementation to addressing climate change remains insufficient

G20 member states, which are responsible for around 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, committed on Saturday to achieving net zero emissions by mid-century while noting with concern that the efforts to address climate change remain insufficient.

World Leaders and officials at the G20 Summit. (Twitter)
World Leaders and officials at the G20 Summit. (Twitter)

In a consensus declaration adopted after the resolution of differences over the wording related to the Ukraine war, the bloc said the global implementation to addressing climate change remains insufficient to achieve the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement to hold the increase in global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C.

“We recognise that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C requires rapid, deep, and sustained reductions in global GHG emissions of 43% by 2030 relative to 2019 levels.”

The declaration noted the finding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 Synthesis Report based on the global modelled pathways and assumptions stating that global GHG emissions are projected to peak between 2020 and the latest before 2025 in global modelled pathways that limit warming to 1.5°C.

“We reiterate our commitment to achieve global net zero emissions /carbon neutrality by or around mid-century while taking into account [the] latest scientific developments and in line with different national circumstances, taking into account different approaches including circular carbon economy, socio-economic, technological and market developments and promoting the most efficient solutions,” it said.

The declaration said G20 nations will pursue and encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally through existing targets and policies, as well as demonstrate similar ambition with respect to other zero and low-emission technologies, including abatement and removal technologies, in line with national circumstances by 2030.

The declaration has a separate section on “Mainstreaming Lifestyles for Sustainable Development.” Based on India’s initiative of Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE), the declaration said the G20 commits to implementing high-level principles on lifestyles and sustainable development.

The declaration also takes note of the launch of “Travel for Life” for smart and efficient travel. It added G20 will work towards facilitating access to low-cost financing in developing countries for energy transition. “For countries that opt to use civil nuclear energy will collaborate on voluntary and mutually agreed terms in the deployment of civil nuclear technologies…”

The declaration said G20 will increase efforts to implement the 2009 Pittsburg commitment of G7 nations to phase out and rationalise, over the medium term, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption.

G20 states said they will focus on transitioning to low carbon energy systems, including “rapidly scaling up clean power generation including renewable energy. “Energy efficiency, accelerating efforts towards phase down of unabated coal…”

On climate finance, the G20 said the developed countries expect to meet the $100 billion goal for the first time this year. The declaration noted the need for $5.8-5.9 trillion in the pre-2030 period for developing countries in particular for their needs to implement their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), as well as the need for $4 trillion per year for clean energy technologies by 2030 to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

G20 urged all countries that have not yet aligned their NDCs with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement to revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their NDCs as necessary by the end of 2023, taking into account different national circumstances.

Research-based consulting and capacity building initiative Climate Trends director Aarti Khosla said a tripling of renewable energy capacity by 2030 will bring a step change in emissions from the electricity sector. “But offering similar ambition to abatement and removal technologies must be watched carefully.”

A delegate from a non-G20 country said India was trying to balance references to the intent of tripling renewable energy with a line on low or zero-carbon technologies. “The declaration is consistent but less ambitious. There are no clear statements on phasing out or phasing down fossil fuels or references to emissions from fossil fuels. A clear intent on peaking before 2025 is not found either. These have been issues that could not be resolved during the working group meetings and ministerials.”

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