Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies are meeting for a second day of talks on Sunday, facing an uphill task of overcoming their differences over combating global warming ahead of a crucial UN climate summit.

The first day of the Rome summit which constituted the first in-person meeting between heads of state and government since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic focused mainly on health and the economy while climate and environment remained at the top and central of Sunday’s global agenda.

The G-20 group made up of Brazil, China, India, Germany and the United States accounts for an estimated 80% of what scientists say is required to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would help prevent a climate catastrophe.

“The latest reports are disappointing, with little sense of urgency in the face of an existential emergency,”Oscar Soria

“Recent reports are disappointing and unurgent,” said Oscar Soria of Avaaz, an activist network.

A fifth draft of the final statement of the G-20, seen by Reuters on Saturday, was not harsher than previous versions in expressing concern over climate change, softening it in certain key areas such as the need for a net zero carbon policy by 2050.

Experts say even if current national plans for limits on emissions go ahead completely, the world is heading toward 2.7 degrees of global warming.

Today’s China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is aiming for net zero by 2060, while other large polluters, such as India and Russia, have likewise failed to meet their mid-century targets.

G20 energy and environment ministers, meeting in Naples in July, had been unable to agree on a date for cutting fossil fuel subsidy and phasing out coal fuel.

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