G20 nations narrow differences on climate change

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) presents a photo album to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of the G20 Summit in Antalya on Monday.— Photo: AP  

The world’s largest economies narrowed their differences over the stand on climate change ahead of the COP 21 talks in Paris that start at the end of this month.

After “intense” negotiations that ran into the morning hours of Monday on the key issue of whether to mention the aim to limit the rise in global warming to 2 degrees, they included the two-degree-goal in the G20 communique.

The final text did not specify the target deadline for the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, taking care of a major concern for Indian negotiators.

“India has done a lot by phasing out subsidies on petrol and diesel but those on fertilisers and power are a politically sensitive issue,” Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s G20 Sherpa Arvind Panagariya briefed presspersons just before the release of the G20 communique.

India’s concerns

The communique also reflected India’s concerns on the Doha Round of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). “We are committed to working together for a successful Nairobi Ministerial Meeting that has a balanced set of outcomes, including on the Doha Development Agenda and provides clear guidance to post-Nairobi work,” it said.

The G20 agreed, as sought by India, to increase efforts to implement all elements of the Bali Package, including those on agriculture, development, public stockholding as well as the prompt ratification and implementation of the Trade Facilitation agreements.

On regional and plurilateral trade agreements, on which India in its intervention had raised concerns, the communique said the G20’s efforts will be ensure these agreements are transparent and inclusive.

Deep disappointment

The G20 expressed deep disappointment with the continued delay in implementing the IMF quota and governance reforms agreed in 2010 and urged the U.S. to ratify the reforms as soon as possible.

It also asked the IMF to complete work on an interim solution that will “meaningfully converge quota shares as soon as and to the extent possible to the levels agreed under the 14th General Review of Quotas.”

Agreement reached to implement all elements of the Bali Package