Nov 16, 2022 - Energy & Environment

G20 agreement clings to 1.5°C target

illustration of a greek statue rolling the earth up the hill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The G20 summit in Indonesia produced a joint pledge today to maintain the ambitious but long-shot Paris Agreement goal of holding temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.

Driving the news: The communique also calls for progress at COP27 on "loss and damage" — compensating poor, vulnerable nations for climate harms.

Why it matters: It may influence diplomats heading into the final days of COP27.

Catch up fast: The G20 meeting emerged as a parallel climate summit, producing high-level steps but few details.

  • President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping broadly agreed to have the nations resume talks on climate.
  • It also brought a multinational finance plan to help Indonesia move off coal.

The intrigue: The communique reiterates last year's COP26 push to phase down coal-fired power. But it doesn't endorse a wider move away from all fossil fuels, despite India's push at COP27.

  • It also nods toward reforming multilateral developing banks, which has wide support among leaders in Egypt.

Reality check: While the 1.5°C target is a benchmark for limiting climate harms, the steep global emissions cuts needed to keep it from slipping away are nowhere in evidence.

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