A technical meeting on agriculture held in February in preparation for the G20 Leader’s Summit taking place in India in September. PHOTO/G20
As the G20 ministers meet in India over the next few weeks, the clear and pressing danger posed by the climate crisis must be at the forefront of discussions.
Making up around 80% of global emissions and also 80% of global GDP, the G20 has the responsibility and the capabilities to alter the course of our planet’s destiny.
The G20 ministers must demonstrate their leadership in placing the earth on track for a future within the 1.5°C temperature limit, which is resilient to the climate shocks already affecting the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Keeping 1.5°C in reach
We cannot afford an overshoot of 1.5°C. Accelerating our efforts to achieve a just transition and keep the temperature limit in reach is critical. We know that effective adaptation can save lives, contribute to sustainable development and support efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality.
However, there are limits to our ability to adapt that are already being reached, so we must step up our actions urgently. Loss and damage is occurring today in every region of the planet.
The findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report confirm that we must urgently and drastically scale up action and support to address climate change in this decade, accelerate efforts to respond to the impacts that are already happening, and prepare for them to get much worse.
We, as members of the High Ambition Coalition, are committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, including keeping alive the 1.5°C temperature limit. The scale and speed of the shifts that our world requires will be unprecedented. The outcome of the first Global Stocktake is an opportunity to course correct onto a path of a just and equitable transition and a much more resilient world.
Phasing out fossil fuels
We must work together to accelerate climate action now and to also set and meet higher targets. We must put an end to the narrative that climate action is the enemy of development. It is the only sustainable development pathway. We look to the G20 to lead the way.
Remaining within 1.5°C will require us to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 at the latest and reduce them by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. Revised 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions that align with the 1.5°C limit, and new 2035 NDCs that keep nations on that pathway, are crucial.
We will not stay within 1.5°C without reducing fossil fuel production. Further fossil fuel expansion risks rendering the eventual transition more expensive and disruptive to economies and societies.
Phasing out fossil fuels will not be easy, but humankind cannot afford to delay. We must bring the fossil fuel era to an end together, and agree a plan to do this at COP28.
We urge you, as leaders of the G20, to accelerate your efforts to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions, to expand your cooperation and lead the way in phasing out all fossil fuels and in transitioning to a green sustainable energy future where access to energy is guaranteed for all.
Key climate actions
Renewable energy has the potential to replace fossil fuels, and to improve access to clean energy across the world, particularly the developing world. We also need a step change in energy efficiency, and to redirect fossil fuel subsidies as part of a just and equitable transition.
We must agree and deliver global goals on renewable energy and energy efficiency, as part of a 1.5°C-aligned global energy strategy. And we must ensure that all sectors, including international transport, reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
Life saving adaptation is needed worldwide. Enabling national adaptation planning and implementation, and removing the barriers we see today, is key, and will require international cooperation and support, including the delivery of the COP26 call to double adaptation finance.
The climate crisis is causing loss and damage to occur today, and it will worsen. We must all support the swift operationalization and capitalization of loss and damage funding arrangements, and a fund for responding to loss and damage.
Boosting climate finance
Current climate finance flows fall far short of what is needed to meet our climate goals. Accelerated implementation, ambition, and support need to be mutually reinforcing processes to deliver the global transformations that are needed.
As the costs of the climate crisis continue to rise, a new financial system that meets the needs of the vulnerable is needed. We welcome the efforts at the Summit for a New Finance Pact to respond to interrelated climate, energy, health and economic crises and the need for finance to overcome them.
We support efforts to reform the international financial architecture to ensure that financial flows reach the trillions required for low carbon resilient development, and to ensure climate finance is accessible, and avoids trapping countries in further debt.
At the same time, each country should play its part to strengthen efforts to meet their Paris Agreement commitment to align all financial flows with low greenhouse gas climate resilient development.
We welcome the UN Secretary General’s efforts to accelerate ambition. G20 members should support this agenda, and join the ‘Climate Solidarity Pact’ that the Secretary General has called for.
All G20 members should demonstrate their commitment to living up to the Paris Agreement, Glasgow Climate Pact, and Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan, and to protecting the lives of us all. This is the most critical decade, and an opportunity for us to chart a path to a more sustainable, safe, and liveable future for all.
The signatories to the statement included; H.E. Lenore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy,Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria, H.E. Maria Heloisa Rojas Corradi, Environment Minister, Chile, H.E. Susana Muhamad, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia and H.E. Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy,Denmark.
Others were; H.E. Ms. Cynthia Ehmes, Acting Secretary of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management (DECEM), Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for the Energy Transition, France, H.E. Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications,Ireland, H.E. Rob Jetten, Minister Climate and Energy Policy, the Netherlands and H.E. James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change, New Zealand.
Also H.E. Steven Victor, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Environment, Palau, H.E. John Silk, Minister of Natural Resources and Commerce, Republic of the MarshallIslands, H.E. Toeolesulusulu Cedric P S Schuster, Minister for Natural Resources and Environment and Samoa Tourism Authority, Samoa, H.E. Romina Pourmokhtari, Minister for Climate and the Environment, Sweden and H.E. Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo Hazards, Environment, Energy & National Disaster Management Office of the Republic
of Vanuatu signed the statement.