| 20 May 2024, Monday |

Draghi says G20 a success, made progress on climate goals

The leaders of the Group of 20 major economies made significant progress in addressing the growing threat of global warming, according to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who hailed the two-day summit as a success.

Draghi, the G20’s acting president, told reporters that all member states had agreed for the first time on the necessity of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists think is necessary to avoid calamity.

In comparison to past G20 agreements, he said the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century, as stated in the final communique, was also a breakthrough.

“We made sure that our dreams are not only alive but they are progressing,” Draghi said in a closing news conference, brushing aside criticism from climate activists that the G20 had not gone nearly far enough in trying to resolve the crisis.

“G20 leaders have made substantial commitments … It is easy to suggest difficult things. It is very, very difficult to actually execute them,” he added, saying he thought countries would continuously improve on their climate initiatives.

Charity Oxfam was one of many groups that registered their disappointment, calling the Rome summit a “missed opportunity” full of “vague promises and platitudes” that failed to deliver badly needed concrete action.

Draghi also dismissed suggestions that a group of countries, such as China and Russia, had dented efforts at furthering international cooperation over key issues.

“It came as a pleasant surprise. We observed countries that were hesitant to advance along the lines we had suggested and pressed. After that, they moved “he stated

The majority of the G20 leaders in Rome will now fly to Scotland for the COP26, a larger UN climate summit.

“What’s occurred here is that the COP26 will be built on a reasonably solid foundation,” Draghi added.

“We adjusted the language, the goalposts, and now everyone agrees on 1.5, which wasn’t the case previously. Carbon neutrality by 2050 has been agreed upon, with no further net emissions; previously, there had been no commitment. We discussed the end of the century.”

  • Reuters