Categories Search

G7 summit ends in deadlock over climate change

Video Preview

There were scuffles in Sicily on Saturday as protesters tried break through a police cordon protecting world leaders at this year’s G7, reported euronews.

The violent scenes came at the end of summit which also finished in division. While US president Donald Trump backed a pledge to fight protectionism he refused to endorse a major accord on climate change.

Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said: “We have noted that six out of seven countries have confirmed their commitment to the Paris agreement…..The United States, however, is undergoing a review process.”

While there was no deal on climate, there was broad agreement on Syria, North Korea and on ways to tackle terrorism in the wake of the attack in Manchester.

French President Emmanuel Macron said:“The debate during this G7 allowed us to advance, very clearly, in the struggle against terrorism. France has been hit in the last few years by terrorism as I will remind you the United Kingdom and Egypt in these past few days. The discussion was extremely rich on this subject and it allowed for the first time to sign a document resulting in a common commitment to fight terrorism on various fronts.”

Several African leaders also took part in the summit with Italy deliberately holding the meeting in Sicily to highlight the issue of migration But that only got a mention in the G7 leaders final communique, with security, trade and terrorism dominating.

***

Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming even sooner if the US retreats from its pledge to cut carbon dioxide pollution, scientists said. That’s because America contributes so much to rising temperatures, reported South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).

US President Donald Trump, who once proclaimed global warming a Chinese hoax, said in a tweet Saturday that he would make his “final decision”this week on whether the United States stays in or leaves the 2015 Paris climate change accord in which nearly every nation agreed to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.

Global leaders, at a summit in Sicily, have urged him to stay. Earlier in the week, Pope Francis made that case with a gift of his papal encyclical on the environment when Trump visited the Vatican.
In an attempt to understand what could happen to the planet if the US pulls out of Paris, The Associated Press consulted with more than two dozen climate scientists and analysed a special computer model scenario designed to calculate potential effects.
Scientists said it would worsen an already bad problem and make it far more difficult to prevent crossing a dangerous global temperature threshold.
Calculations suggest it could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tonnes of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year. When it adds up year after year, scientists said that is enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

“If we lag, the noose tightens,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change.
One expert group ran a worst-case computer simulation of what would happen if the U.S. does not curb emissions, but other nations do meet their targets. It found that America would add as much as 0.3 degrees Celsius) to the globe by the end of century.

Scientists are split on how reasonable and likely that scenario is.
Many said because of cheap natural gas that displaces coal and growing adoption of renewable energy sources, it is unlikely that the US would stop reducing its carbon pollution even if it abandoned the accord, so the effect would likely be smaller.

Others say it could be worse because other countries might follow a US exit, leading to more emissions from both the US and the rest.
Another computer simulation team put the effect of the US pulling out somewhere between 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius.

While scientists may disagree on the computer simulations they overwhelmingly agreed that the warming the planet is undergoing now would be faster and more intense.

The world without US efforts would have a far more difficult time avoiding a dangerous threshold: keeping the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The world has already warmed by just over half that amount — with about one-fifth of the past heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions coming from the United States, usually from the burning of coal, oil and gas.

So the efforts are really about preventing another 0.9 degrees Celsius from now.
“Developed nations — particularly the US and Europe — are responsible for the lion’s share of past emissions, with China now playing a major role,” said Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis. “This means Americans have caused a large fraction of the warming.”
Even with the US doing what it promised under the Paris agreement, the world is likely to pass that 2 degree mark, many scientists said.

But the fractions of additional degrees that the US would contribute could mean passing the threshold faster, which could in turn mean “ecosystems being out of whack with the climate, trouble farming current crops and increasing shortages of food and water,” said the National Centre for Atmospheric Research’s Kevin Trenberth.

Climate Interactive, a team of scientists and computer modellers who track global emissions and pledges, simulated global emissions if every country but the US reaches their individualised goals to curb carbon pollution. Then they calculated what that would mean in global temperature, sea level rise and ocean acidification using scientifically-accepted computer models.
By 2030, it would mean an extra 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in the air a year, according to the Climate Interactive models, and by the end of the century 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming.
“The US matters a great deal,” said Climate Interactive co-director Andrew Jones.
“That amount could make the difference between meeting the Paris limit of two degrees and missing it.”

Climate Action Tracker, a competing computer simulation team, put the effect of the U.S. pulling out somewhere between 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. It uses a scenario where US emissions flatten through the century, while Climate Interactive has them rising.
One of the few scientists who plays down the harm of the US possibly leaving the agreement is John Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the scientist credited with coming up with the 2 degree goal.

“Ten years ago (a U.S. exit) would have shocked the planet,” Schellnhuber said.
“Today if the US really chooses to leave the Paris agreement, the world will move on with building a clean and secure future.”
Not so, said Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe: “There will be ripple effects from the United States’ choices across the world.”

show source

Rating: (0)
Location: Show map
Location: Show map
Share report:
Share on Facebook
If you want to buy or a sell a report
go to marketplace
Marketplace

Comment report: