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G-20 leaders turn to climate change on final day of summit | Economic news

By KARL RITTER, Associated Press

ROME (AP) – Leaders of the world’s largest economies were due to tackle climate change on Sunday, the last day of a weekend summit in Rome that is widely expected to set the tone for a major conference on the same issue that will be held in Glasgow, Scotland over the next two weeks.

The Group of 20 countries, which accounts for more than three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions, is seeking common ground on how to reduce emissions while helping poor countries cope with the impact of climate change. rising temperatures.

If the G-20 summit ends with weak commitments, momentum could be lost for the larger annual talks in Glasgow, where countries around the world will be represented, including the poorest most vulnerable to rising seas, desertification and other effects.

The future of coal, a key source of greenhouse gas emissions, has been one of the things the G-20 has struggled to agree on. However, the United States and other countries are hoping to secure a commitment to end overseas funding for coal-fired power generation, said a senior U.S. official who requested anonymity to present the plans of the President Joe Biden.

Political cartoons about world leaders

Political cartoons

Western countries have moved away from funding coal projects in developing countries, and major Asian economies are now doing the same: Chinese President Xi Jinping last month announced at the United Nations General Assembly that Beijing would stop fund such projects, and Japan and South Korea have done the same. commitments earlier in the year.

However, China has not set an end date for the construction of domestic coal-fired power plants in its country. Coal is still China’s main source of electricity generation, and China and India have resisted attempts for a G-20 statement on phasing out domestic coal consumption.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ahead of the Rome summit that he had tried but failed to secure a commitment on a phase-out of coal from Xi, who had not made it to the rally.

In Glasgow, Johnson said: “We want these leaders… to focus on the commitments they can make, moving away from fossil fuel use, away from coal-fired power plants at the national level.”

Climate activists hoped the wealthy G-20 countries would take action to meet a long-standing but not yet bound commitment to raise $ 100 billion a year to help developing countries move towards greener economies and to adapt to climate change.

Longtime environmentalist Prince Charles was due to address the G-20 on Sunday.

G-20 leaders also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and the uneven distribution of vaccines around the world. On Saturday, they approved a global minimum corporate tax, a mainstay of new international tax rules aimed at blunting tax havens amid skyrocketing profits from some multinationals.

And after a meeting on the sidelines of Iran’s nuclear program, Biden, Johnson, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Frenchman Emmanuel Macron made a joint statement expressing their “determination to ensure that Iran can never develop or acquire a weapon. nuclear”.

They also expressed concern that Tehran “has stepped up the pace of provocative nuclear measures” after halting negotiations on a return to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

___ Associated Press editors Jill Lawless, Josh Boak, Zeke Miller and David McHugh in Rome contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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