The Group of 20 nations are nearing an agreement on a joint statement after resistance to concrete action on climate change faded, leaving Russia’s war on Ukraine as the sole topic still to be resolved.
(Bloomberg) — The Group of 20 nations are nearing an agreement on a joint statement after resistance to concrete action on climate change faded, leaving Russia’s war on Ukraine as the sole topic still to be resolved.
Negotiations were ongoing Friday on the eve of the summit in New Delhi, with officials still haggling over the text’s reference to the war, according to multiple people familiar with the deliberations. Germany is among the countries that are pressing for clear language condemning Russia’s actions.
While it remains unclear whether final consensus can be reached, China appears to have dropped its initial opposition to measures on climate as well as language on Ukraine and Russia, a key diplomatic ally of China, some of the people said. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier singled out China for blocking efforts to achieve consensus, telling Bloomberg News on the plane to India that the talks in the run-up to the two-day summit had been “challenging.”
“We would like to work for fruitful outcomes of the New Delhi Summit,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Friday at a regular press briefing in Beijing. “On climate change, the Chinese side hopes that all parties can take each others’ concerns into consideration and jointly work for solution of climate change.”
An agreement on climate suggests a compromise was reached after Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and China opposed a European push to set a target for global emissions to peak of not later than 2025. Russia and Saudi Arabia had also opposed language on accelerating efforts toward the phase down or phase out of unabated fossil fuel use.
Read more: G-20 Aims to Triple Renewables and Gives Caveat to Fossil Fuels
Last year’s G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, witnessed similar tensions over climate and the war before leaders managed to produce a joint statement on both issues. Since then, however, US-China ties have continued to spiral while the BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa agreed to expand the club to 11 members, in a sign of resistance to the US-led world order epitomized by the G-7.
Sunak said the UK would “continue to make the case” to China that “what Russia is doing is wrong, and why it’s right to support Ukraine, particularly when it comes to food security.”
“The G-20 is a major forum for international economic cooperation, and we always believe that the G-20 needs to focus on this positioning and enhance coordination of macroeconomic policy and contribute to better world economic development,” Mao Ning said. “China’s position on the Ukraine issue is always consistent and clear.”
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–With assistance from Alberto Nardelli, Alex Wickham and Lucille Liu.
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