Goal number one has been achieved. Now it is a question of working on the second, the one that promises to be even more difficult. The ministers meeting in Naples for the G20 yesterday approved the Communiqué on the Environment, the key topic of the first day of the summit that brings together the 20 richest economies on the planet. Today it will be the turn to seek a synthesis on the theme on the agenda for day two of the summit: climate and measures to combat global warming. An issue that has already revealed more than a split in the negotiations that culminated in the 48 hours of the Royal Palace, the venue for the meeting in a Plebiscito square which has been armored for days.
The 10 guidelines of the Environmental Communiqué
In reality, even the agreement on the communiqué cleared through customs on Thursday afternoon by the ministers was not taken for granted, complete with liberating applause at the announcement of the Italian Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani. The document “is particularly ambitious, it reflects the cut that the Italian presidency wanted to give,” Cingolani himself said at a press conference, claiming its similarities with the Italian government’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The package that came out of the negotiations unfolds over 7 pages, 25 articles and 10 different “lines of action”: natural solutions for the climate, fight against soil degradation, food security, sustainable use of water resources, protection of the oceans, fight against plastic at sea, circular economy, sustainable cities, education and “green finance”, focus anticipated on the first day of the summit. Translated into practice, the lines traced by the Press Release should materialize into objectives ranging from integrated water resource management projects to doubling the circularity of materials with a “voluntary” objective by 2030, from attempts to recover “at least 50%” of degraded territories to training and awareness programs for new generations on the environmental issue.
As for green finance, one of the central chapters of the entire G20 meeting, there is talk of creating synergies between financial flows destined for climate, biodiversity and ecosystems and aligning investments towards sustainable development and growth. “It is the first time that these categories have been recognized by the G20 and become binding”, said Cingolani, underlining that the contents marked by the ministerial closing today will trace the path of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change of 2021 (COP26) scheduled for autumn in Glasgow.
The text, torn after a negotiation that dragged on in the months before the G20 in Naples, comes at the end of a day that had not revealed too many elements of optimism. The first drafts of the text on the Environment, as highlighted by the Reuters agency, had received more than one criticism with the accusation of being generic and lacking binding financial commitments (which in fact do not seem to appear even in the final version of the text ).