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23 Nov 2020, 13:46
Kerstine Appunn

G20 states confirm climate cooperation, Merkel sees topic rise on agenda

Clean Energy Wire

The heads of state and government from the G20 (Group of Twenty) major economies have formally confirmed their cooperation on climate protection. Despite the United States having exited the Paris Agreement climate accord and US president Donald Trump railing against the accord at the virtual summit on the weekend, all countries signed the final communiqué including a paragraph on climate change. Large parts of the paragraph, however, were only endorsed by signatories to the Paris Agreement. Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference afterwards that climate had been one of the intensively talked about subjects at the meeting. The 19 States party to the Paris Agreement have reaffirmed their commitment to the accord, Merkel said. “We will work to improve our target commitments also from the European side. In this respect, the issues of climate and environment have taken on a major role,” she added. Despite president Trump’s remarks she was “very pleased” that “in the general part of the climate challenges, very important and good conclusions are drawn which we can build upon”.

Looking back on the summits of the past five years, Merkel said it was “interesting to see how, in comparison with previous summits, the issues of environment, sustainability, living in harmony with nature and not based on the overexploitation of nature - whether it be climate action, coral reefs or the issue of biodiversity - were addressed by almost everyone, regardless of where they come from.” Merkel added that there was the will to learn from the pandemic that economic activity must become more sustainable. “This is a clear change in the focus of discussion compared with the situation five years ago, I would say,” she concluded.

The G20 are likely going to play a “supporting” role for global climate action in 2021, a German official said last week. The election of Joe Biden as the next US president has sparked hope among German and European politicians for a new partnership on combating climate change.

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