G20 leaders on Sunday agreed to end public financing for coal-fired power generation abroad but set no target for phasing out coal domestically.
This seems to be a clear nod to coal-dependent countries including China and India and a blow to Britain which had hoped for more solid commitments ahead of the Glasgow meeting.
The UN climate summit in Glasgow opened formally on Sunday, kicking off 2 weeks of intense diplomatic talks on curbing global warming.
As world leaders to participate from Monday onwards, COP26 President Alok Sharma said it is the last best hope that we keep it to 1.5 degrees -- the target of restricting the rise in global temperature.
The Group of 20 countries represents more than three-quarters of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and summit host Italy had been looking for solid targets on how to reduce emissions while helping poor countries deal with the impact of rising temperatures.
Without them, momentum could be lost for the larger annual talks that officially opened Sunday in Glasgow and where countries from around the globe will be represented, including poor ones most vulnerable to rising seas, desertification and other effects.
Italian Premier Mario Draghi told the leaders going into the final working session Sunday that they needed both to set long-term goals and make short-term changes to reach them.
“We must accelerate the phasing-out of coal and invest more in renewable energy," he said.
“We also need to make sure that we use available resources wisely, which means that we should become able to adapt our technologies and also our lifestyles to this new world."
According to the communique, the G-20 reaffirmed past commitments by rich countries to mobilize $100 billion annually to help poorer countries cope with climate change, and committed to scaling up financing for helping them adapt.
(With PTI inputs)