The G20 Summit concludes in Rome with a simple “approved”. The leaders of this prestigious group of countries reached a minimum agreement on climate change in the Italian capital with their commitment to fight to ensure that global warming does not exceed pre-industrial levels by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
A sort of first step of what will be the awaited COP26 in Glasgow, on which the hopes and critical eyes of thousands of activists and millions of citizens are focused.
“What has been the success of this summit,” summed up Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. “The G20 countries have committed to maintaining the 1.5 target with a series of immediate actions and medium-term commitments. We have decided to leave coal behind, starting with the international public commitment to eliminate the financing of new, unconsumed coal, which will cease to be financed in 2021.”
It is not clarified, however, what will be the final date for the total elimination of coal or fossil fuels, nor that of the longed-for carbon neutrality.
In a hopeful tone for some and populist for others, Boris Johnson again spoke of the Scottish meeting as a defining moment:
“If Glasgow fails, then the whole thing fails,” the British prime minister reminded. “The Paris Agreement will have collapsed in the first reckoning. The only mechanism in the world, the viable mechanism for dealing with climate change will be holed below the waterline. At this point, the Paris Agreement, and the hope that came with it, will be just a piece of paper,” Johnson said.
There will be no one watching what happens at COP26 more closely than environmental activists. Some of the members of the Extinction Rebellion group were present with their protests at a G20 Summit that also resulted in a commitment to vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population against the coronavirus by 2022 or the end of the tariff war that has existed since 2018 between the United States and the European Union.