Thursday, October 1, 2009

What's the G20 doing about Climate Change?

Leaders of countries representing 85 percent of the world’s economy agreed on commitments on climate change and energy, among others, during the G-20 Summit held on 24-25 September 2009, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the G-20 leaders on 25 September 2009, stressing that “recovery and sustainable development are, and will continue to be, undermined by accelerating climate change.” He called on leaders to support and go beyond the proposal for a climate finance package of US$100 billion per year during the next decade, from a combination of public and private sources. Secretary-General Ban further urged G-20 leaders to agree on principles and options for managing and delivering these funds “well before Copenhagen.”

The Summit outcome document – the G-20 Leaders’ Statement – contains a section on energy and climate. On energy, leaders committed to: increase energy market transparency and market stability; improve regulatory oversight of energy markets; rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption; stimulate investment in clean energy, renewables and energy efficiency; and provide financial and technical support for such projects in developing countries. They also agreed to take steps to facilitate the diffusion or transfer of clean energy technology, noting that the reduction or elimination of barriers to trade and investment should be pursued on a voluntary basis. On climate change, leaders committed to take “strong action to address the threat of dangerous climate change” and to intensify efforts, in cooperation with other parties, to reach agreement on mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing in Copenhagen.

In the concluding section of the Statement (“The Path from Pittsburgh”), leaders “designated the G-20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation” and agreed to future meetings in June 2010 (Canada), November 2010 (Korea) and 2011 (France).

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