A terrible Toronto

At the G20 summit in Toronto this week world leaders missed another opportunity to move forward on climate change. Little progress was made on a promise, made last year in Pittsburgh, to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels and pledges to invest in low-carbon, renewable energy were all but removed from the final joint leaders statement.

This summit frustrated many who had hoped that the G20 could provide additional “bandwidth” to reinforce global efforts to combat climate change. This summit also suffered for being held in Canada – a state with a highly regressive record on climate change. At Copenhagen, the host-nation was well-intentioned, but ultimately disorganised. In Toronto, the hosts had the worst of intentions, but were well seemingly well-organised in helping remove concrete references to clean energy and water down pledges made in Pittsburgh.

The World Wildlife Fund, a non-governmental organisation, was even less complimentary and suggested that “The greenest thing about the G20 is the way it recycles old commitments.”