Fire, Flood and Food: Fostering Fast Forward for Climate Change

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The G20 countries, which include India and China, are responsible for around 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and 85 % of global GDP. In the G20 countries, around 70 % of climate impacts could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C instead of 3°C.

The recent meeting of the Environment, Climate and Energy ministers of G20 countries was held in Naples on the 22nd and 23rd of July under the Presidency of Italy. It was a precursor to the ‘Leaders’ Summit’ of G20 planned to be held in Rome on 30-31 October 2021, just before the major and critical Conference of Parties to the Paris Climate agreement called COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Unfortunately, the ministers in Naples have failed to agree on the wording of key climate change commitments in their final communique. China, Russia and India had declined to sign because of the two contested points.

One of these was phasing out coal power by a certain date (2025 proposed by the rich countries but others said would be impossible for them).

Another was about limiting the rise in warming of the Earth to 1.5-2 deg Cent compared to the average temperature at the pre-industrial baseline. Average global temperatures have already risen by more than 1 degree C. They are, miserably, are on track to exceed the 1.5-2 degree ceiling. Some countries, therefore, wanted to go faster than what was agreed in Paris and to aim to cap temperatures at 1.5 degrees within a decade, but others, with more carbon-based economies, said let’s just stick to what was agreed in Paris.

Result? The even statement from G20 is delayed apart from the delay in taking action on Carbon Neutrality.

The urgency of climate action has been brought to the centre in the G20 Summit. But the will to do more and faster are missing. Would the political will find the way? Leaders’ summit would decide in October 2021.

Till that time, the Smart Campus Cloud Network of TERRE Policy Centre will not wait. Actions are moving fast forward, by keeping youth at the centre. With more than 250 higher education institutes including universities are strengthening their actions and have started implementing ‘Not Zero-Net Zero’ pledge of Carbon neutrality.

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