Dutch, Canadian leaders hope for climate progress at G-20

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, and Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte, greet prior to a meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Canada and the Netherlands are counting on the weekend Group of 20 summit in Rome to make significant progress toward clinching an acceptable deal at the United Nations climate meeting starting immediately afterward.

After a bilateral meeting Friday with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in The Hague, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the timing of the G-20 summit in Rome could help the climate talks known as COP26 that start in Glasgow on Sunday.

“The fact that the G-20 is immediately before COP26 allows some of the major countries around the world responsible for significant emissions to actually meet and work in advance of hopefully what will be a very successful COP,” meeting, Trudeau said.

At the moment, plans from nations around the world submitted ahead of COP26 would still fall far short of the headline goal set in Paris six years ago: to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) since preindustrial times. The world has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since that era.

Rutte estimated that plans combined so far ahead of the climate summit that runs Oct. 31-Nov. 12 in Glasgow would still mean a rise of 2.7 C.

“So there is still a gap. And there is still a lot we need to do,” he said.

Despite the daunting challenge, Rutte said he had two reasons for optimism: “One is that there’s no way not to do this because then we collectively have such a big problem and everybody understands,” he said.

“Secondly, because it is such a big opportunity — the huge opportunity we see in this country for creating so many new jobs and new economic prosperity at the same time. Building a clean country,” Rutte said.

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