By Kate Lamb and Yuddy Cahya Budiman
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Officials from the Group of 20 major economies meeting on Wednesday for climate talks in Bali were unable to agree on a joint statement, amid objections to the language used on climate goals and the war in Ukraine, two sources said. Reuters.
Indonesian Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar opened the meeting by urging countries to cut emissions and prevent the planet from being pushed to a point “where no future will be sustainable”.
But some countries, including China, had opposed previously agreed language in the Glasgow climate pact and past G20 agreements on efforts to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it said. said an official with knowledge of the meeting, declining to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Another diplomatic source told Reuters there had been disagreements over language regarding the climate and also references to the war in Ukraine.
Siti had said earlier that she hoped a joint statement would be signed by the end of the day, but made no mention of it during her press conference later Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Environment was not immediately available to comment on the matter.
The G20 climate meeting, hosted by this year’s president, Indonesia, comes as extreme weather events – fires, floods and heat waves – are hitting several parts of the world, including unprecedented flooding in Pakistan this past weeks that have killed at least 1,000 people.
Scientists say most of these extreme weather events are attributable to human-induced climate change and will only increase in severity and frequency as the globe approaches the 1.5 degree warming threshold Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Environment officials from Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, South Korea and the US President’s special climate envoy John Kerry were among those attending the talks in Bali, and further bilateral meetings are expected on Thursday.
Indonesia, as the current chair of the G20, has invited representatives of the African Union to join the talks for the first time, Siti said, adding that the voices of all countries, regardless of their wealth and their size, must be heard.
Also in attendance was Alok Sharma, president of last year’s 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), who said the war in Ukraine had made the need to switch to renewable energy sources more urgent. The COP27 climate summit will be held in Egypt in November.
“The current energy crisis has demonstrated the vulnerability of countries dependent on fossil fuels controlled by hostile actors,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Climate security has become synonymous with energy security and the chronic threat of climate change is not going away,” he said.
(Reporting by Yuddy Cahya Budiman in Nusa Dua, Stanley Widianto in Jakarta and Kate Lamb in Sydney; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Ed Davies)