G20 fails to agree on phasing out coal, India asks nations to cut high emissions

New Delhi : India has urged the G20 nations which have per capita greenhouse gas emissions above the world average to bring them down, as the grouping’s Energy and Climate Joint Ministerial failed to agree on phasing out coal power and overseas coal financing.

Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister, R K Singh, taking part virtually in the meeting in Naples, Italy, on Friday asked the G20 nations to take immediate steps over the next few years.

Highlighting India’s own efforts, the minister told the delegates that against the targeted emission reduction of 33-35% by 2030, India has already achieved emission reduction of 28% over 2005 levels and at this pace, it is all set to exceed its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitments before 2030.

The NDCs are at the heart of the Paris Agreement which requires each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions.

He said that India already has achieved 38.5% installed capacity from renewables and when the renewable capacity under construction is also accounted for, the share of renewables in the installed capacity goes well over 48%, which is way above the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.

But despite the progress made by India and some other countries, the Ministerial could not agree on phasing out coal power and overseas coal financing which – along with accelerating the transition to clean vehicles and halting deforestation – are crucial to keeping warming to 1.5C.

G20 leaders will now address the issue at their meeting later this year in October ahead of November’s COP26 summit.

“It is frustrating that despite the progress made by some countries, there was no consensus in Naples to confine coal to history. But I remain hopeful about the prospect of countries taking up this issue at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in October,” said COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, of UK.

‘With just over three months to go until we come together in Glasgow, collaboration will be crucial. I look forward to welcoming ministers to London in the coming days so together we may chart our way towards a successful COP26 that delivers for both people and planet.” Sharma said.

Friday’s meeting was hosted by COP26 Presidency partners Italy in their role as Presidency of the G20.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries need to limit temperature rises to well below 2 degrees, closer to 1.5 degrees.