© Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The world has passed the ‘Trump Test’ on climate. At the G20 Summit in Hamburg, all 19 partners with the exception of the new U.S. Administration stood united in their support for the Paris Agreement and its swift implementation. Jointly developed and accepted by the 19 partners, the Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth identifies issues that need to be addressed for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and provides a list of G20 action items for future cooperation.
Russia, the world’s third largest oil producer, is caught between two futures: diversify its fossil fuel based economy in response to changing energy markets and the end of the raw super cycle, or to restore Russian positions in fossil energy markets. While Russian leadership is torn on the subject, the future of the 1.5 degree goal hinges on the direction the nation will take.
The G20 collectively are still far removed from demonstrating responsible stewardship in the area of climate protection. Yet individual countries – both traditional industrial nations such as Italy, France and to some extent Germany as well, and emerging economies like Brazil and India – have indicated possible pathways to decarbonization. This is the key insight provided by the G20 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), introduced by Germanwatch, the Climate Action Network (CAN) and the NewClimate Institute today. A day ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, the member states have highly diverse scores within the ranking.
In this special edition of the CCPI 2017, the efforts and performances of the G20 countries are evaluated. The G20 are together responsible for 75% of the global Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) and are therefore the key for starting a global transformation
Climate policy in Turkey is shaped by the country’s fossil-fuel based energy strategy, while domestic demand for more ambitious climate action is weak. Current energy market dynamics and joint G20 strategies to align markets with the Paris Agreement might, however, provide impetus for change. Turkey displays similar traits with other emerging economies: Above the global average GDP growth rate, increase in energy demand and GHG emissions, and a yet-to-decouple correlation among these three indicators. Yet, there are discrepancies as well.
G20 countries have stepped up green finance, but their investment in fossil fuels remains so high that the “well below 2 degree” warming limits set in the Paris Agreement will be missed by a wide margin, says this year’s “Brown to Green” Report from Climate Transparency. The "Brown to Green-Report: The G20 transition to a low-carbon economy 2017" is the third annual stocktake of the G20’s climate efforts by the Climate Transparency global partnership, released today ahead of this year’s meeting of G20 leaders in Hamburg. It has been developed by a group of experts from the G20 countries Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and the UK.
In the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, the international community committed to limit global warming to well below 2°C, if not 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. World leaders also committed to foster adaptation and to make all financial flows consistent with climate resilient, low greenhouse gas development. The G20 as group of the leading industrial nations and emerging economies, being responsible for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, provides an important platform for joint action towards implementing the Paris Agreement.
Civil Society engagement in the G20 process is essential to ensure that poor people can have a say in decisions that affect them. Southern voices within the C20 are especially critical to address global development challenges, given that a large share of the world’s poorest populations reside within G20 countries such as India and China.
Most G20 states improved conditions for investments in low-carbon energy over the past year, with several emerging market countries rapidly catching up to the leaders. The rapid development of the renewable energy sector is a crucial success factor for meeting the Paris climate goals. The G20 countries need to roughly double their annual investments in renewable energy to align their power infra-structure with the well below 2°C pathway, fixed at the Paris COP 21 in 2015.
Mexico has been a frontrunner at the UNFCCC and it supports the climate and energy agenda of the German G20 presidency. At the national stage, however, despite considerable progress, not all signs point yet to climate-compatible transformation of the country. In face of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, strong international climate leadership by the rest of the world to maintain momentum for Mexico’s national energy transformation is required.