Ambition From a Bar Stool in Osaka

26 June 2019

ECO has been noting with interest here in Bonn the countries which have been bold enough to ‘step Up” and answer the question, “What will you be doing to enhance your NDC?”  So far (drum roll€¦) we have found that out of all the countries who have dropped by the Step Up booth, there are 31 heroes who are willing to go on record to talk about how they will contribute more to the global efforts to reduce emissions and address the climate emergency. 

‘the 31 most productive and advanced economies?”, ECO hears you ask. “China, maybe?, The US, surely? Major EU countries will no doubt be falling over each other to associate themselves with urgent climate action, right?’ Existential crisis must be very high on the list of priorities for these great nations as they will gather together in Osaka for the G20 Heads of State meeting on Friday 28 June. Japan’s own Shinzo Abe raised such hopes when he touted himself as a climate leader last fall.

Alas! It is not so. In fact, only one solitary G20 country, Indonesia, found its way to the Step Up booth and got ECO’s hopes up, by stating that it will look into how it will strengthen its action. ECO wonders whether the G20, whose members represent a mind-blowing 85.2% of the world’s GDP and over 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, has given up on planetary survival, and decided to investigate€¦. 

As stated yesterday, ECO’s heart goes out to all the developing countries that are working hard on enhancing their NDCs in 2020. However, it seems that instead of working on enhancing their climate ambition, the G20 leaders will be busy drinking saké and toasting their 10-year unfulfilled commitment of phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, as the sun goes down on Saturday evening over the Kobe coal plant, where activists two days prior launched a 4-m inflatable Abe sitting on a pot of coal. G20 governments” financial support for coal-fired power production has almost tripled in three years. This is quite the opposite of ‘stepping Up.”

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