01 Jul 2019, 13:35
Julian Wettengel

G20 currently not able to send “strong joint messages on climate” - Germanwatch

Clean Energy Wire / Financial Times

Environmental and development organisation Germanwatch has said it is “relieved“ that 19 of the G20 countries at the Group of Twenty summit in Osaka, Japan agreed to a joint position on the Paris Climate Agreement. However, the outcome also shows that it is currently not possible to put out “strong joint messages on climate action in consensus”, said the NGO’s policy director Christoph Bals. Still, the 19+1 outcome is “a smashing defeat for US President Trump” who had exerted “massive diplomatic pressure” to try and keep the topic largely off the final declaration, said Bals. Financial Times reports that the “biggest struggle” at the summit was over climate change, with the governments eventually meeting French president Emmanuel Macron's demand for a strong reference to the Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As in the last two G20 summits, all governments except the United States reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Paris agreement in the summit’s final leaders’ declaration. Ever since Trump announced his country would leave the Paris Agreement, international climate action has lost an important voice for more ambition. At the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017, the German G20 Presidency and Chancellor Angela Merkel pulled off a “solid” diplomatic success on climate policy by closing ranks of all G20 members for an agreement, with the exception of the United States. 

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