A group of scientists is calling out four of the world’s richest countries for insisting on climate targets that would drive up global temperatures by an average 5.0°C if all the G20 countries adopted them.
The peer-reviewed analysis by Paris Equity Check focused on China, Russia, Brazil, and Australia. It landed not many hours after a meeting of G20 environment and energy ministers failed to reach agreement on a 2025 coal phaseout, while delaying crucial decisions on speeding up international climate finance and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.
The analysis “raises serious worries about the prospects of key climate agreements being achieved at the COP 26 summit in Glasgow in three months,” The Guardian reports.
The European Union and United Kingdom “have outlined emission pledges that could bring the world close” to the Paris Agreement target of limiting average global warming to 1.5°C, the paper adds. But the “dramatic discrepancy” between those targets and the plans laid out by the four problem countries “reveals a deep division over the energy and environment policies of the world’s richest nations.”
“Without more ambition from China, Brazil, Russia, and Australia, COP 26 will fail to deliver the future our planet needs,” warned World Wildlife Fund CEO Tanya Steele.
“The research underlines what many of us fear: major economies are simply not doing enough to tackle the climate crisis,” said Yann Robiou du Pont, lead researcher behind the Paris Equity Tracker analysis. “In many cases, G20 countries are leaving us on track [for] a world of more heat waves, flooding, and extreme weather events.”
“Ahead of COP 26, we now need to see action and we owe it to the most vulnerable countries to rally together,” said COP 26 President Alok Sharma. “Failure to deliver on our commitments is not an option, and we must not be found wanting.”