Alok Sharma, the UK’s climate delegate, claimed on Thursday that some of the world’s largest economies are “backsliding” on their carbon promises, a day after the Group of 20 (G20) nations failed to agree on a unified statement on climate talks.
At the G20 ministerial conference on Wednesday in Bali, objections to language on climate targets and the situation in Ukraine prevented a common communiqué from being released, diplomatic sources said.
Sharma, the head of the British delegation in Bali and the president of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), told Reuters that the response from the G20, which is responsible for 80% of world emissions, was “very alarming.”
Without naming any specific countries, he added in an interview, “It is the case that what we did observe was several governments backsliding on the commitments that they made in Paris and Glasgow.”
“I am concerned the opportunity of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach is going to slip away very, very fast unless the G20 are willing to execute on the pledges they have made in Glasgow.”
As fires, floods, and heat waves ravage numerous regions of the world, including the record flooding in Pakistan that has killed more than 1,100 people, G20 climate ministers gathered on the Indonesian resort island for the meetings.
Science demonstrates that such extreme weather occurrences are caused by human-induced climate change and will only become more severe and frequent as the world approaches the 1.5-degree Celsius warming threshold above pre-industrial levels.
In remarks made before the COP27 in Egypt in November, Sharma criticized the stance certain nations had adopted in Bali.
He stated, “The big emitters need to look these countries that are vulnerable to climate change in the eye and say they are doing absolutely everything they can to deliver on the pledges they have made.”
Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia’s environment minister, had urged nations to reduce emissions at the beginning of the gathering to stop the earth from being pushed “to a point where no future will be sustainable.”
In her final press conference, Siti did not mention the unified communiqué she had previously expressed. The hope will be signed by the end of the day on Wednesday.