Leaders of the G20 group of nations at the weekend stated that the Paris Agreement on Climate Action is “irreversible”, even as they agreed a climate and energy action plan which appears to set out concrete steps to accelerate the world’s transitions to low carbon and greater resilience to climate change.
In the leaders’ declaration that emerged at the end of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, the heads of state and government said they recognise a “strong economy and a healthy planet are mutually reinforcing” and underscored the many opportunities for innovation, sustainable growth, competitiveness, and job creation that can be brought about through increased investment into sustainable energy sources and clean energy technologies and infrastructure.
Whilst “taking note” of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the leaders wrote in a statement that they are collectively committed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through, among others, increased innovation on sustainable and clean energies and energy efficiency, and work towards low greenhouse-gas emission energy systems.
The heads of state and government, who reiterated their support for the Paris Agreement, also underlined the importance of fulfilling the commitment by developed countries under Paris in providing “means of implementation” – so notably climate finance – to developing countries in order to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change.
In the G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth issued at the end of the meeting (with the United States reserving its position on this particular document), leaders emphasised the “urgency and priority of accelerating the implementation of pre-2020 commitments and actions.”
This is in line with the central tenet of the Paris Climate Change Agreement to raise ambition so that the central goal of the agreement can be met, namely to the limit the global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.
“Mobilising climate finance from private sources will be key to addressing significant investment needs for both adaptation and mitigation. Public finance will continue to play a significant role,” they wrote.
Other means to achieve the goals of Paris outlined in the plan are to increase joint efforts to promote energy efficiency, scale up renewable energy, phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and to align financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Finally, G20 leaders expressed their support for the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and encouraged the further engagement of cities, regions, companies, investors and a multitude of non-state actors to support governments in implementing the Paris Agreement. And they encouraged these actors to register their actions through the NAZCA platform of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.