US President Joe Biden has blamed China and Russia for climate activists’ disappointment over the outcome of the G20 summit in Rome. In his view, Beijing and Moscow have not shown any willingness to make concessions in the field of climate protection. There is a reason why people are disappointed. “I found it disappointing,” President Biden said.
The US president said the world’s 19 richest countries and the European Union have made progress, “thanks in part to the determination of the United States”. But President Biden said it was necessary to look at “what China isn’t doing, what Russia isn’t doing, what Saudi Arabia isn’t doing.”
The world’s largest economies may have affirmed the goals set in the Paris climate agreement and reached an agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, but the final statement of the assembled heads of state was disappointing to climate activists. For example, they have not set a target date for achieving carbon neutrality, nor for ending coal electricity generation.
In an earlier draft statement, G-20 heads of state committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The final statement mentions “by or around the middle of the century” as a target date.
However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov defended Russia’s goal of being carbon neutral no later than 2060 in Rome. “This is our calculated commitment and we are sticking to it,” Lavrov said on Sunday. China has also confirmed its goal of increasing its emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality only by 2060. India – the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, the US and the European Union – is also refusing to make promises of carbon neutrality and is eyeing more prosperous nations.