| 1 December 2023, Friday |

G20 bloc fails to reach agreement on cutting fossil fuels

Following protests from several production nations, the Group of 20 (G20) major economies gathering in India on Saturday failed to establish a consensus on phasing out fossil fuels.

Scientists and environmentalists are frustrated by international agencies’ slowness in taking action to combat global warming, even as extreme weather from China to the United States highlights the world’s climate catastrophe.

G20 energy officials had been due to issue a joint communique at the end of their four-day meeting in Bambolin, a town in the Indian coastal state of Goa.

But it was dropped due to disagreements including the intended tripling of renewable energy capacities by 2030.

Sections urging developed countries to deliver on the goal of jointly mobilising $100 billion per year for climate action in developing economies from 2020-2025, and description of the war in Ukraine, also eluded consensus.

Fossil fuel use became a lightning rod in day-long discussions, but officials failed to reach consensus over curbing “unabated” use, two sources familiar with the matter said.

A draft late on Friday reviewed by Reuters read: “The importance of making efforts towards phase down of unabated fossil fuels, in line with different national circumstances, was emphasized.”

However, instead of a joint communique, a chair statement was released on Saturday evening, noting that “Others had different views on the matter that abatement and removal technologies will address such concerns.”

India’s Power Minister R.K. Singh, in a press briefing after the conference ended, said some countries wanted to use carbon capture instead of a phase down of fossil fuels.

He did not name the countries.

However, major fossil fuel producers Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, South Africa and Indonesia were all known to oppose the goal of tripling renewable energy capacity this decade.

  • Reuters