Global warming may be off the agenda at the G20 summit. If it is, we know exactly whom to thank.
According to the green publication Clean Technica, in an article headlined “G20 Nations Reportedly Set to Kowtow to Trump on Climate Change”:
A reported draft version of a communique being formulated by leaders of the G20 in advance of the 13th meeting of Group of Twenty to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, starting Friday, fails to back the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and makes no mention of the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C which warned that “Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”
Further, the draft nods in the direction of those countries intent on defending their continued use of coal, saying that there are “varied” energy choices and “different possible national pathways.”
Further highlighting the weakening stance of G20 nations’ willingness to stand up to climate obstructionists like the United States and Australia, there is no mention of the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C which was published earlier this year and which warned that “Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”
There is also no mention of the upcoming COP24 climate talks to be held in Katowice, Poland, starting a day after the G20 meeting ends on Saturday.
There was some hint of the possibility of a weakening of the G20’s stance on climate change earlier this month, when Argentina’s G20 sherpa (emissary) Pedro Villagra Delgado spoke to the media, saying that the drafting of this communique, and the section referencing the Paris Climate Agreement, was proving to be the “most complicated” aspect. “Of course, we want the Paris Agreement to be mentioned, but we want it to be mentioned, encompassing everyone, albeit in an ambiguous way,” he said. “The United States does not say that nothing should be done [about climate change], but that they do not want to have neither the obligations nor the goals imposed by the Paris Agreement.”
“The more assertive mentions are made, the more likely it is that the United States will stay away from it,” he concluded.
It helps, of course, that President Donald Trump now has a major ally in the G20. President-elect Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is not attending the summit, but the very fact of his election means that, for the first time, there are two avowedly climate-skeptical nations in the G20. Bolsonaro, who sees himself as South America’s answer to Trump, recently appointed a foreign minister — Ernesto Araújo — who believes that “climate change” is a plot by “cultural Marxists” to stifle the economies of the West and promote the growth of China.
Brazil was supposed to be hosting the COP25 climate talks next year, but since Bolsonaro’s election, it has announced that it is no longer interested “due to the transition in government and budget restrictions.”
This marks a highly significant and symbolic turnaround in global warming geopolitics. It was nearly thirty years ago in Brazil — at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 — that the great global warming scare really began to take off when the leaders of over 100 nations flew to Rio de Janeiro and established the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This, in turn, led to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement and all those annual COP meetings like the one that Brazil has just decided it no longer wants to host.
Sure, this is not the end of the global climate change scam. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.