A G20 meeting held in India has fallen short of achieving a crucial agreement on phasing out fossil fuels. This setback came about due to the vehement complaints raised by certain producer countries.

The failure to make significant progress in curbing global warming has left researchers and campaigners disheartened, especially in the wake of extreme weather events that continue to highlight the pressing climate crisis. With G20 member nations accounting for over three-quarters of global emissions and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), their collective efforts to decarbonize have become imperative in the fight against climate change.

The four-day meeting witnessed conflicts arising on various issues, ultimately leading to the issuance of a result statement and a chairperson’s list, rather than a joint launch—a move typically reserved for cases where complete consensus among all member countries is achieved.

One of the key areas of contention revolved around the commitment to increase sustainable power capacities twofold by the year 2030. This contentious matter, along with others, prevented the delegates from releasing a joint report. Notable points of discord involved the allocation of $100 billion annually for climate action in developing economies from 2020 to 2025 and disagreements over how to address the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The use of fossil fuels was at the heart of prolonged discussions, but unfortunately, officials could not reach a unanimous decision on how to monitor “unabated” usage or come to a consensus on the language used to describe the pathway for emission reductions.

During the heated debates, some member countries expressed concerns about the proposed phasing down of unabated fossil fuels, advocating instead for the utilization of carbon capture technology as an alternative approach.

Among the prominent dissenting voices were Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, South Africa, and Indonesia—major fossil fuel producers—who strongly opposed the ambitious goal of doubling renewable energy capacity within the next decade.

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