G20 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed on the seriousness of the threat posed by the climate crisis to the financial system, but nothing actionable seems to have emerged from the meeting in the face of objections from the US.
The statement of priorities of the G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia sought to examine the impact of global warming on financial stability, the Guardian reported citing unnamed sources. All efforts to include references to the risks for global growth came to a naught with the US objecting strongly to this, the report said.
Concerns over the global warming and extreme weather events are a major part of the global economic growth discourse in recent years. The Paris Clime agreement has set stiff targets for carbon emissions to limit global warming due to human activities, but the developed nations, especially the US, are accused of taking policies inconsistent with the policy framework of the agreement. The global financial system is funding activities that could result in catastrophic consequences leading to huge financial losses.
The Guardian report cited global news agency Reuters as saying that the joint communique issued after the conclusion of the meeting would include references to climate change, the first time since the formation of G20 in 1999 with 19 major industrial nations and the EU as members.
JP Morgan, the largest American bank, had warned last week that climate change could spell the end of the human race. The bank’s economists said the world will face catastrophic events such as extreme weather, war, food and water shortages if the industrialised nations failed to cut carbon emissions drastically to limit global warming. The report said a large number of people may be affected by rising sea levels or damage to farmland.