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G20 Needs to Issue Strong Declaration about Climate Change in Summit

In that meeting, the members of the group agreed on a document supporting the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement

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Juncker made the statement after being asked in a press conference over his expectations for the final declaration over climate change. Pixabay

European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday said that the G20 needs to issue a strong declaration about climate change in its summit, which is set to kick off later in the day in this Japanese city.

Juncker made the statement after being asked in a press conference over his expectations for the final declaration over climate change set to be signed by G20 leaders during the two-day meet, reports Efe news.

“We need a strong declaration on climate change,” said Juncker, recalling the debacle in this regard in the last G20 summit in Buenos Aires in December.

In that meeting, the members of the group agreed on a document supporting the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement against climate change, although the US abstained from signing the declaration after President Donald Trump’s administration had earlier unilaterally withdrawn from the 2015 climate change deal signed in the French capital.

G20, Climate Change, Summit
European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday said that the G20 needs to issue a strong declaration about climate change. Pixabay

The possible opposition of the United States makes it difficult for the G20 to agree on a more substantial text, making it likely that the declaration would be limited to supporting the Paris Agreement, according to official sources from Japan, which currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the group.

Both Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk said that the delegations were still working on the final draft of the declaration and hoped to make further progress.

Meanwhile, a group of environmental activists on Thursday protested outside a coal plant in the Japanese city of Kobe with an inflatable balloon effigy of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as a show of opposition against his policies of promoting and funding coal power plants.

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The activists of the No Coal Japan campaign said they wanted Japanese leaders to have more discussions in the G20 summit about reducing the country’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions. (IANS)

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Great Barrier Reef Facing Unprecedented Challenges Amid Serious Ecological Disturbances

In light of the report, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia called for urgent climate change action

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great barrier reef
"The Great Barrier Reef is still beautiful and it is resilient, but it is facing unprecedented challenges," AIMS Chief Executive Officer Paul Hardisty said. Wikimedia Commons

The health of Australias Great Barrier Reef is facing unprecedented challenges amid serious ecological disturbances, a report released on Thursday said. Crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks — which have decimated breeding populations of corals over large areas — coral bleaching and cyclones were among the “major disturbances” in the past five years that have caused a general decline in coral cover in the world’s largest living organism, Efe news quoted the report by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) as saying.

“The Great Barrier Reef is still beautiful and it is resilient, but it is facing unprecedented challenges,” AIMS Chief Executive Officer Paul Hardisty said. The report added that chronic stressors such as high turbidity, higher ocean temperatures and changing ocean chemistry affect recovery rates and more frequent disturbances shorten periods of recovery time.

“We know reefs can recover given time and the right conditions, but there has been little relief from disturbances in recent years to allow significant recovery to occur,” AIMS Long Term Monitoring Program leader and ecologist Mike Emslie said.

great barrier reef
In light of the report, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia called for urgent climate change action. Wikimedia Commons

The decline was measured in the central and southern areas of the reef, while the northern region has stabilized. In light of the report, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia called for urgent climate change action. “Australia must urgently reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and rapidly speed up the transition to a renewable economy,” WWF-Australia Head of Oceans Richard Leck said.

ALSO READ: Global Warming Threatens UN Goals of Tackling Inequality, Conflicts

Last month, a Change.org campaign was launched to push for citizenship for the Great Barrier Reef. The petition demands the reef be given rights akin to that of humans, including the right to health, freedom from torture or inhuman treatment or punishment, the right to maintain own means of subsistence and the right to life.

The Great Barrier Reef, home to 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 varieties of molluscs, began to deteriorate in the 1990s due to the double impact of water warming and increased acidity due to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (IANS)