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Global climate summit in Paris fails to agree ambitious plans

President Emmanuel Macron and President Lula da Silva
President Emmanuel Macron and President Lula da Silva Copyright Christophe Ena/AP
Copyright Christophe Ena/AP
By Philip Andrew Churm with AFP
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Delegates at a global summit in Paris on finance an climate have failed to agree extra measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and support poorer countries


The global summit on finance and climate has ended in Paris with more pain than glory. 

The participants agreed on many things but failed in others such as on plans to create a tax on greenhouse gas emissions produced by international maritime transport, or materialising the promises to transfer €92bn to poor countries through the IMF. 

Some leaders, such as Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have advocated a clean slate.

"What was created after the Second World War, Bretton Wood institutions, no longer works and no longer meets the aspirations or interests of society," he told delegates. 

"Let's be clear that the World Bank leaves much to be desired in what the world needs from the World Bank. Let's make it clear that the IMF leaves much to be desired in terms of what people expect from the IMF."

French President Emmanuel Macron, who hosted the meeting, was unsurprised by Lula's comments.  He affirmed that there was a "total consensus" to reform global financial organisations to make them "more efficient, fairer and better adapted to today's world". 

Outside the venue protesters and environmentalists carried banners and shouted slogans. Some wore face masks depicting presidents Macron and Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, speaking at a separate venue in Paris, expressed scepticism that the summit would make a difference.

"The planet is not dying, it's being killed," she said. "And we know who are the people killing it."

Earlier in the week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said annual investment for clean energy in poor and emerging economies, excluding China, must jump to nearly €1.8 trillion within a decade to keep alive the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to "well below" two degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times; and below 1.5C if possible.

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