CHENNAI: Environment ministers from G20 nations failed to agree on peaking global emissions by 2025 and other crucial issues to address the global climate crisis at their meeting in India on Friday.

No breakthrough was possible on several key points ahead of this year’s COP28 climate talks, with negotiations also failing to reach a consensus on tripling renewable energy use.

“I am very disappointed,” France’s ecological transition minister Christophe Bechu said after the meeting.

“We are not able to reach an agreement of increasing drastically renewable energies, we are not able to reach an agreement on phasing out or down fossil fuels, especially coal,” he said.

“Records of temperatures, catastrophes, giant fires, and we are not able to reach an agreement on the peaking (of) emissions by 2025.” The discussions with China, Saudi Arabia, and on climate issues with Russia had been “complicated”, he added.

India’s climate change minister Bhupender Yadav, who chaired the meeting, admitted there had been “some issues about energy, and some target-oriented issues”.

The Chennai meeting comes days after energy ministers from the bloc — which represents more than 80 per cent of global GDP and CO2 emissions — failed to agree in Goa on a roadmap to cut fossil fuels from the global energy mix.

Major oil producers fear the impact of drastic mitigation on their economies, and Russia and Saudi Arabia were blamed for the lack of progress in Goa.

Campaigners were dismayed by the repeated failure to reach a deal on Friday.

“Europe and North Africa are burning, Asia is ravaged with floods yet G20 climate ministers have failed to agree on a shared direction to halt the climate crisis which is escalating day by day,” said Alex Scott of climate change think-tank E3G.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2023

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