The G20 has a strong economic interest in limiting global warming to 1.5°C due to climate change’s negative impact on total economic activity, the productivity of the workforce and the smooth functioning of financial markets. The G20 countries are key for driving this global transition since they account for approximately 80 % of global greenhouse gas emissions, 85 % of global gross domestic product and 75 % of foreign direct investment flows. Over the last decade, the G20 has regularly expressed support for the international climate negotiations and has established its own climate initiatives for translating international climate policies into financial and economic policies. However, the G20 countries are not on track: they need to follow up on past commitments and take further steps to accelerate the transition.
Japan has declared "disruptive innovation for climate action" a priority of its 2019 G20 presidency. Past G20 work on innovation has only focused on research and development finance as well as best practice sharing. To drive low-carbon and climate-resilient innovation, however, the G20 needs to take a wider look at the enabling conditions and incentives. These include long-term directions, immediate actions and aligning financial flows with those directions and signals.
This briefing paper by Germanwatch proposes eight actions through which the G20 could foster innovation for climate action. It has been developed as part of the international network Climate Transparency.