As the world’s biggest economies and largest emitters of greenhouse gases prepare to meet in Germany’s Hamburg city for the G20 summit on Friday, environmental advocates called for full implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement despite the US’s withdrawal from it. The Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, representing the 47 poorest countries, called on members to renew their commitment, while Fiji pleaded that the Pacific nations are among the most vulnerable to climate change.
Sensing climate change a reality, Gebru Jember Endalew, chair of the LDC Group, asked the G20 nations to commit to scaling up climate finance and develop a comprehensive joint action plan as “they are already witnessing its impacts”. “The Hamburg G20 Summit is an opportunity for G20 countries to demonstrate their leadership in meeting the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement. G20 countries also have the greatest capacity to support vulnerable countries,” an official statement quoted Endalew as saying.
Fijian Prime Minister J.V. Bainimarama asked the G20 leaders, including US President Donald Trump, not to abandon the vulnerable nations. “We have not caused this crisis, your nations have. We expect you to meet the initial climate action commitments you have already made,” he said. Frank Bainimarama is the incoming President of Conference of the Parties (COP23), the next round of the ongoing UN climate negotiations to be held in Bonn in Germany in November. German-watch Policy Director Christoph Bals asked G20 parties, except the US, to send a strong signal that they will swiftly implement the Paris Agreement.
“After the announced withdrawal of the US government from the Paris Agreement, we expect the other 19 parties to send a strong signal from the Hamburg Summit that they will swiftly implement the Paris Agreement – with or without Donald Trump,” he said.
He said the leaders should agree on developing and submitting by 2018 long-term strategies for their countries to transition away from coal, oil and gas towards energy systems based on renewable energy and energy efficiency. UK-based charity Christian Aid said the Washington’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has backfired.
“(German Chancellor)Angela Merkel has made this G20 summit a test of leadership. We’re seeing a new constellation of diplomatic leaders, led by China and Europe, coming together to form a progressive climate alliance,” Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead for Christian Aid, said. He said at this summit Trump must realise that he has walked away from the top table on an issue of major international importance – on climate change “he stands alone”.
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