Paris climate conference to be subdued after G20 summit skips over contentious issues

The G20 summit in Turkey was completely dominated by the issue of combating ISIS terrorism and never got around to discussing the contentious climate conference issues separating the developing from the developed countries. In fact they got stuck on whether the goal of keeping to less than 2ºC warming by the end of the century should be referred to or not. India and Saudi Arabia opposed the motion but eventually gave way. There was little time to discuss much more and the critical issues of financing the “good fight” and whether even developing countries should make larger emissions cuts were hardly addressed.

ClimateChangeNews reports:

Campaigners looking to this weekend’s G20 leaders meeting in Antalya, Turkey, for progress on the climate agenda have been left disappointed.

In a statement on Monday, the group of major economies reiterated their commitment to a 2C limit on global warming and to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies.

There was little sign of convergence on contentious issues ahead of December’s UN climate summit in Paris: how to ramp up ambition, share responsibility between rich and poor, and get finance flowing. 

India and Saudi Arabia reportedly objected to a review mechanism that would require countries to regularly update their climate plans. The EU is pushing for five-yearly reviews, a proposal recently endorsed by China.

“The only thing G20 leaders had to say on climate was ‘see you at the climate summit’,” said Oxfam’s Steve Price-Thomas.

The Climate conference starts on November 30th in Paris and after the terrorist killings is likely to dispense with much of the circus and side-meetings that normally accompany these jamborees. The French Prime Minister confirmed that things would be subdued

A series of events linked to a UN climate summit in Paris in two weeks will be cancelled over security fears, Manuel Valls told local radio on Monday morning.

The conference will be “reduced to the negotiation” with “concerts and festive events” likely to be called off in the wake of the country’s worst ever terrorist attack, the country’s prime minister told RTL. 

Valls did not specify whether that included a mass demonstration planned by activists on the eve of the summit on 29 November.

Despite the attack, no country or head of state had asked France to postpone the summit, he added.

More than 100 world leaders are due to open the COP21 negotiations on Monday 30 November, at Le Bourget airport on the outskirts of the city.

Organisers are expecting over 40,000 delegates a a day at the critical conference, where a global warming pact is to be finalised.

In parallel, several civil society and business groups had planned side events around Paris.

In my opinion the COP21 Climate conference is rather pointless and misguided. China and India have already got what they want in terms of freedom to use fossil fuels virtually without restriction. The world would be better off with the whole event being cancelled, not that there was – or is – any chance of that happening.

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