The landmark Paris Agreement and the Agenda 2030 provide a new framework for transitioning to a GHG-neutral and climate-resilient future, and towards truly sustainable development. The G20 as a forum of the leading industrial nations and emerging economies provides a platform for joint action towards achieving these global goals. Shifting global investment towards green finance, sustainable infrastructure and the global transition to renewable energy is one of the most urgent tasks ahead, and can only be reached by international cooperation.
This briefing paper describes how the G20 could enable a shift of international financial flows to low-carbon and climate-resilient development, as mandated by the Paris Agreement in Article 2.1c. It introduces the relevant long-term climate and Sustainable Development Goals, and outlines the current energy-, climate- and infrastructure-related work streams within the G20. It addresses the need to provide a reliable political framework for ambitious action and the important role of “long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies”. It then explores a broad range of issues related to the mobilization and characteristics of transition finance, such as disclosure of climate-related risks in the financial markets, stress testing and strategies towards GHG neutrality for businesses, the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, policy instruments to correct the current market distortion and set energy prices right by pricing carbon dioxide emissions, and “Paris-compatible” investment criteria for public and private finance. Directed at decision makers and policy experts, it also highlights ways forwards for and favourable outcomes of the German G20 presidency.
– German Presidency Update January 2017; advance version released in August 2016 –