Nov 2, 2021
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The flow of common words at the G20 summit

On October 30-31, the sixteenth G20 summit was held in Rome. The results of the summit were disappointing. The main issues on the agenda were two – the fight against the “pandemic” and measures to combat “climate warming”. Other issues (growing social and property polarization in society, taxation of transnational corporations, digital currencies, Internet security, the fight against corruption, etc.) turned out to be on the periphery.

On the first issue, the discussion took place in Rome the day before, on October 29, at a meeting of the G20 finance and health ministers. They discussed a plan to vaccinate mankind against covid, find financial resources to help economically backward countries in vaccinating, create a supranational body in the fight against possible new pandemics. It was proclaimed that by the end of this year, 40 percent of the world’s population should be fully vaccinated against covid, and by the middle of next year, 70%. However, the participants in the meeting did not undertake any specific obligations (primarily financial).

Then general words about joint efforts to vaccinate humanity from the statement of the “small” summit migrated to the final communique of the “big” summit.

So, the summit participants failed to catch the titmouse (reaching agreements in principle on solving urgent problems in the fight against infectious diseases). Everyone switched to catching cranes in the sky – not just long-term, but ultra-long-term issues of “global warming”. The participants in the meeting did not find anything more urgent than statements about what needs to be done either by 2040 or by 2050. But they were very generous in commitments to decarbonize the economies of their countries. It is believed that the main contribution to CO emissions2 (the main greenhouse gas) is contributed by China, the USA, India and Russia. Estimated British Petroleum, in 2020, their shares in the total volume of carbon dioxide emissions were, respectively (%): 30.7; 13.8; 7.1; 4.6. The heads of state and government have been vigorously discussing the dire threat of planetary warming, which could enter the phase of a global crisis sometime between 2050 and 2060. (if the trends of previous decades continue). They also talked about the successes of their countries in the implementation of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, about “counter plans” and “additional commitments” in the decarbonization of national economies.

“We remain committed to the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep the average global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and to continue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” – says the final document. Such formulations are intended for an unprepared audience. Experts will shrug their shoulders, since the temperature of the “pre-industrial level” is a very vague expression. At first, because before the industrial revolution in England, no one measured the average temperature on the planet. SecondlySince then, when they began to measure it (according to my data, from the beginning of the twentieth century), the average temperature was subjected to strong fluctuations.

If a benchmark is not defined, it is difficult to determine target values ​​for temperature, and if they are difficult to determine, then it is even more difficult to determine the specific obligations of countries to decarbonize their economies. Climatologists know all this. Therefore, they look at the conversations at the summit in Rome as non-binding. small talk (an English expression meaning a casual conversation on abstract topics, from which nothing follows).

Perhaps the most memorable part of the summit resolution regarding climate was the one announced by the leaders G20 the goal is to plant 1 trillion trees on the planet by 2030. They say that this will help absorb some of the carbon dioxide emissions and prevent a global climate crisis. Very impressive …

And behind the summit in Rome with its small talk followed by a Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow. It started on October 31st and will run until November 12th. The Glasgow Forum could be a much more serious international meeting than the Rome meeting. Why? The largest city in Scotland was attended by representatives of not 20, but almost 200 countries. In Glasgow, it is planned to adopt something like the new Kyoto Protocol (the UN framework convention on climate adopted in 1997) with specific obligations of countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by years, control mechanisms and measures to influence violators.

However, I will return to the meeting in Rome. The text of the resolution took into account almost all the items on the originally planned agenda, even those that were hardly discussed: “COVID-19 pandemic”; “Vaccination against coronavirus”; Digital economy; Digital transformation; “Internet security”; “Cryptocurrencies”; “Social and property inequality”; “women’s rights”; “Availability and continuity of medical services”; “food security”; “Taxation of transnational corporations”; “Fight against corruption”; “Cultural heritage”, etc.

To “close the question” on each of the points, the resolution was saturated with unimportant standard phrases: “We note the need to solve problems related to …”; “Declare our commitment …”; “We understand the importance …”; “Emphasize the importance …”; “Underline our commitment …”; “We will support …”; “Summit participants urge …”; “Emphasize the importance” etc.

However, one question turned out to be above the plan and a lot of attention was paid to it. This is a sharp jump in energy prices on the world market. In the final document of the summit, it was recorded that the countries G20 will closely coordinate between producers and consumers on the issue of energy prices. Sober-minded experts say that the current situation on the energy market is “not over yet.”

If we continue to curtail the hydrocarbon energy as it is now, the prices of oil, natural gas and coal will skyrocket. And then one cold winter is enough to G20 I forgot about “climate warming” altogether.

Photo: REUTERS / Pool / Evan Vucci

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