G20 leaders offer little new on climate, UN chief's hopes 'unfulfilled'

(Reuters, 31 Oct 2021) Statement says only that national plans to curb emissions will have to be strengthened "if necessary", and makes no reference to 2050 as deadline to achieve net zero emissions.

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies agreed on a final statement on Sunday that urged "meaningful and effective" action to limit global warming, but offered few concrete commitments, angering climate activists.

The result of days of tough negotiation among diplomats leaves huge work to be done at the broader United Nations COP26 climate summit in Scotland, which starts this week.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi hailed the Rome gathering, saying for the first time all G20 states had agreed on the importance of capping global warming at the 1.5 degrees Celsius level that scientists say is vital to avoid disaster.

"We made sure that our dreams are not only alive but they are progressing," Draghi told a closing news conference, brushing off criticism from environmentalists that the G20 had not gone nearly far enough to resolve the crisis.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who warned on Friday that the world was rushing headlong towards climate disaster, said the Rome summit was not all he hoped for.

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Reuters, 31 Oct 2021: G20 leaders offer little new on climate, UN chief's hopes 'unfulfilled'