G20 agrees final communique with reference to climate change

G20 finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in the Saudi capital to discuss top global economic challenges, including the spread of the new coronavirus. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 February 2020

G20 agrees final communique with reference to climate change

  • One of the sources said it was the first time a reference to climate change had been included in a G20 finance communique
  • G20 officials completed work on the communique on Sunday morning

RIYADH: Finance officials from the world’s 20 biggest economies (G20) meeting in Riyadh on Sunday reached agreement on the wording of a final communique that includes a reference to climate change for the first time, G20 diplomatic sources said.
Overcoming US objections, the compromise language retained a reference to work by the Financial Stability Board to examine the implications of climate change on financial stability, although it dropped climate change from its list of downside risks to global economic growth.
One of the sources said it was the first time a reference to climate change had been included in a G20 finance communique, even though it was removed from the top of the joint statement.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in the Saudi capital to discuss top global economic challenges, including the spread of the new coronavirus.
G20 officials completed work on the communique on Sunday morning. The final wording was not immediately available.
Delegates worked out a compromise after Washington objected to the initial proposed language, which had included “macroeconomic risk related to environmental stability” in a list of downside risks, two G20 diplomatic sources said.
The communique forecasts a modest pick-up in global growth this year and next, but cites downside risks to this outlook stemming from geopolitical and remaining trade tensions and policy uncertainty.


Shellshocked Spain reports record 832 new coronavirus deaths

Updated 6 min 21 sec ago

Shellshocked Spain reports record 832 new coronavirus deaths

  • Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 72,248 on Saturday from 64,059 the day before
  • Schools, bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items have been shut since March 14

MADRID: Spain’s coronavirus fatalities rose by a record 832 people overnight to 5,690 as hospitals and morgues were overwhelmed and a police chief fought back tears announcing a colleague’s death.
Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 72,248 on Saturday from 64,059 the day before.
Health emergency chief Fernando Simon said the epidemic appeared to be reaching its peak in some areas, but the nation was short of intensive care unit beds. “We continue to have a major problem with ICU saturation,” said Simon.
As Spain prepared to enter its third week of lockdown, an unused public building known as “the doughnut” was the latest to be turned into a makeshift morgue after a city ice rink last week, Spanish media including El Pais newspaper reported.
Civil Guard chief Jose Manuel Santiago became emotional as he paid homage to the head of his organization’s rapid action group, who died of the coronavirus on Friday.
A delivery of 1.2 million masks bought by the Ministry of Transport from China for health, transport and postal workers touched down at Madrid airport, the government said.
In Barcelona, delivery workers with masks took free meals to health workers on Friday evening as part of the Delivery 4 Heroes initiative, which has seen six companies join forces to send free meals daily to up to 200 people.
“It is not only food, but a gift of emotion and encouragement to continue and to think that everything that is being done is really worth it,” Dr. Luis Miguel Martin, who received dinner on Friday at Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar, told Reuters.
Schools, bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items have been shut since March 14 and most of the population is house-bound as Spain tries to curb the virus.