G20 Updates : Climate change dominates pre-discussions

The ongoing pre-organization meeting of the G-20 countries being held in Osaka, Japan is currently stuck in a conundrum over climate change discussions. Negotiations are currently ongoing over the language of the summit communique (note) on combatting climate change which will be made by the G-20 nations at the end of the summit.

What are the issues?

The United States wants the downgrading of the wording of the communique. This is being opposed by the European members of the G-20. The US is opposed to the use of a certain wording that states that implementing the terms agreed in 2015 Paris Agreement is necessary. This summit holds great significance as it a platform to discuss and combat climate change after US President Donald Trump pulled his nation out of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

What is the 2015 Paris Agreement?

The 2015 Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), dealing with the need to mitigate/ reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation, and finance. While it was agreed by nearly 200 nations in 2015, it was signed and came into force in 2016.

As per the Paris Agreement, each individual country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution/ mitigation that it undertakes to achieve. While Nations like France and the Netherlands have pledged to ban all hydrocarbon vehicles to meet the terms of Paris Agreement, it suffered a major setback when the US pulled out in 2017. Currently, more than 180 countries have agreed to be part of the Paris Agreement.

The way ahead

Numerous intellectuals and a great of scientific evidence have said that climate change is real and poses a danger to the survival of the Human race. There is a need to evolve a consensus on measures to mitigate and then, eliminate carbon emissions which are the primary culprit of climate change.

However, without the US (the world’s largest economy and one of the biggest carbon emitters), climate control measures will not achieve the desired outcome. The US must be part of any such initiative for it to succeed. The world leaders are expected to hold detailed discussions with Donald Trump who has arrived to be part of the G-20 summit.




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