G20 host Indonesia calls for cooperation to tackle global climate issues

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Senior officials from the Group of 20 major economies (G20) gathered for climate talks on the resort island of Bali on Wednesday, with the Indonesian host warning that not working together to reduce emissions would push the planet into “uncharted territory”.

Indonesian Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said countries must stop global warming together or see the planet pushed to a point “where no future will be sustainable”.

“It is our responsibility to be part of the solution. We build bridges, not walls,” she said.

The G20 climate meeting comes as extreme weather events – fires, floods and heatwaves – are hitting several parts of the world, including unprecedented flooding in Pakistan in recent weeks that has 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 are attending the talks in Bali and are expected to issue a joint statement more late Wednesday.

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 understood.

Alok Sharma, president of last year’s 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), also said the war in Ukraine had increased the urgency of a switch to renewable energy sources. 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)

Teresa H. Sadler