The Group of 20 nations on Saturday failed to reach an agreement on phasing out unabated fossil fuels at the New Delhi summit even as United Nations report stated that global emissions are not in line with the temperature goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Countries part of the 2015 treaty had set 1.5 degrees Celsius as the threshold to limit global average temperature as crossing this threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.
The G20 member countries together account for more than three-quarters of global emissions and gross domestic product. The G20 is also home to 93% of global coal power plants and 88% of new proposed coal plants.
A consensus declaration adopted by the countries on Saturday said that they have agreed to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 and try to increase the funds for climate change-related disasters.
But the declaration maintained the status quo on phasing down fossil fuels.
The development came a day after a report by the United Nations warned that there was a “rapidly narrowing window” to implement existing commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The global community is not on track to meet the long-term goals set out in the Paris Agreement, despite the collective progress made,” the report added. “Scaling up renewable energy and phasing out all unabated fossil fuels are indispensable elements of just energy transitions to net zero emissions.”
Global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations, must peak by 2025 and drop rapidly thereafter to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
However, the G20 declaration on Saturday said that although it recognises the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 and notes that peak must occur before 2025, it does not imply that all countries must peak according to this timeline.
This comes after another report by non-governmental organisation Climate Central said on Thursday that over 3.8 billion people – nearly half of the world population – experienced at least 30 days of significantly warmer temperatures between June and August due to human-caused climate change.
The report also noted that countries with the lowest emissions experienced approximately three to four times more days marked by higher temperatures from June to August than G20 nations.