Rome, Italy – Reacting to the weak outcome of the G20 Summit, Greenpeace is demanding a faster and more ambitious action plan in response to the climate emergency and COVID-19.

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International:

“If the G20 was a dress rehearsal for COP26, then world leaders fluffed their lines. Their communique was weak, lacking both ambition and vision, and simply failed to meet the moment.  Now they move onto Glasgow where there is still a chance to seize a historic opportunity, but the likes of Australia and Saudi Arabia need to be marginalised, while rich countries need to finally grasp that the key to unlock COP26 is trust.  

“We’re here in Glasgow, with activists from all over the planet, and the most vulnerable countries at the table, demanding the missing action to protect everyone from both the climate crisis and Covid-19. Governments must respond to the deadly warnings the planet is giving us and cut emissions drastically right now, to stay in line with 1.5C, and that requires stopping any new fossil fuel development and phase them out.

“At COP26, we will not let up and continue to push for more climate ambition, as well as the rules and actions to back it up.  We need to stop all new fossil fuel projects immediately. 

Governments must reduce emissions at home and stop shifting that responsibility to more vulnerable communities, through carbon offsetting schemes that compromise their livelihoods. 

“We are calling for true solidarity to support poorer countries to survive and adapt to the climate emergency. Every moment spent where wealthy governments focus on corporations’ bottom lines, rather than enacting solutions, costs people’s lives. If they wanted to, the G20 leaders could help solve Covid-19 with a TRIPS waiver to enable countries around the world to produce generic vaccines, treatments and diagnostics that will allow poorer countries to protect their people equitably. Publicly-funded research that led to the vaccine must lead to a People’s Vaccine.”

Giuseppe Onufrio, Executive Director of Greenpeace Italy:

“This week Greenpeace Italy activists called on G20 leaders to stop offsetting schemes that delay emissions cuts. The Italian Prime Minister has urged G20 nations to up their ambition to honour a 1.5 pathway, but we are calling on him to lead by example. As COP co-presidency, Italy must deliver ambitious climate targets that cut emissions at their source as quickly as possible and present a new ambitious plan which must not rely on false solutions such as CCS or carbon offsetting, cut GHGs emissions and boost renewables.”

Emissions from G20 nations account for around 76% of global annual emissions. As of July 2021, only around half those emissions were covered by enhanced pledges to cut them in line with the Paris Agreement. Large emitters amongst G20 nations including Australia and India have yet to submit new NDCs.

At COP26, which starts today in Glasgow, Greenpeace is calling on governments to urgently step up their climate ambition, starting with a phase-out of fossil fuels, and show solidarity with the countries most vulnerable to the climate crisis.


Photos for media use: Greenpeace Italy’s G20 action against offsetting

Media Contact:

Marie Bout, Global Communications Strategist, Greenpeace International Political Unit, [email protected], +33 (0) 6 05 98 70 42 

Greenpeace International Press Desk: [email protected], +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)