Italy: Many G20 countries want more urgent climate targets | World

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By FRANCES D’EMILIO Associated Press

ROME (AP) – Many climate and energy ministers at a Group of 20 meeting hosted by Italy agreed on Friday to work towards even more ambitious climate change targets than those set in the 2015 Paris accords, an Italian official said.

Italian Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani also told a press conference that concern over last week’s devastating flooding in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands was palpable during the two days negotiations in Naples. Germany and the European Union are members of the G-20.

“It all started by offering condolences” to representatives of the affected countries, Cingolani said. Such natural disasters “change consciousness” even at the political level, he said.

Climatologists say the link between extreme weather and global warming is undeniable, making it clear that urgent action is needed. The G-20 countries collectively represent some 80% of the world’s gross domestic product and some 60% of the planet’s population.

During the Naples talks, the United States, the European Union, Japan and Canada made it clear that they “firmly intend to go faster than the Paris agreement by the (end of of) decade, and below 1.5 degrees, ”Cingolani said.

World leaders agreed six years ago in Paris to work to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and ideally no more than 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) by the end of the century. Scientists say both targets will be largely missed unless drastic measures are taken to reduce emissions.

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