G20 summit lays bare growing climate change division
Japan Today -- Jun 30
Four years after the landmark Paris deal, international consensus on strong action to tackle climate change risks crumbling, with the issue among the biggest sticking points at the G20 summit.

While tensions over trade were expected at the talks in Osaka, reaching agreement on language about climate action has proved just as contentious.

Negotiators known as sherpas were stuck working into the small hours of Saturday morning, trying frantically to find wording that both climate skeptics and those looking for strong commitments could agree on.

Part of the issue is the 2015 Paris climate deal itself, which nearly 200 nations have signed up to. The agreement commits signatories to work to reduce emissions, but Washington plans to withdraw from it.

The process of withdrawing will take several years and in the meantime the U.S. has refused to endorse statements backing the deal.

At the last two G20 meetings, in Buenos Aires and Hamburg, a work-around was found: a reference to the Paris deal as "irreversible" was endorsed by 19 members, and Washington added its own line reiterating its plans to quit.

This time around, Japan hoped to find a formulation everyone would agree on but EU countries demanded strong language and Washington tried to recruit allies to its climate-skeptic cause.

News source: Japan Today
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