While the ongoing Fijian COP23 in Bonn and the coalition negotiations in Berlin capture media and public attention, Germany quietly released a self-review of their own fossil fuel subsidies as part of the G20 peer review process. The G20 fossil fuel subsidy review, pioneered in 2016 by US and China, is currently the only concrete step to make progress on the group's pledge from the 2009 summit in Pittsburgh to phase-out “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that increase wasteful consumption”.
The Hamburg G20 summit saw an impressive showdown between US President Donald Trump and the other G20 members regarding climate change and the fate of the Paris Agreement. After the unprecedented split in the leader’s declaration, and the acceptance of the G20 action plan on climate and energy for growth (CEAP) by all G20 members except the US, all eyes are now on the incoming Argentinean presidency under President Mauricio Macri – will he find a way to back up the Hamburg result and continue the work towards the long-term climate goals within the G20 while preserving the unity of the group?
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the first time, Canada has a framework that brings the federal government, most provincial and territorial governments, and all major economic sectors together on a shared path of climate action. This puts Canada into position to join other countries in showing significant international climate leadership. After the recent G7 Summit outcome in Taormina, the upcoming Canadian G7 presidency will be decisive to push climate action forward.
The African continent and its population suffer from severe energy poverty. The International Energy Agency estimates that the total grid-based power generation capacity in 2012 was only about 158 gigawatt (GW), which is less than total installed capacity in Germany alone. Consequently, the majority of the African population – approximately 622 million out of 922 million people living on the continent – still lacks access to modern energy services. Although the African continent has abundant renewable energy (RE) resources, the potential for the generation of renewable electricity has not been realized yet. Hence, besides the traditional use of solid biomass, the African electricity mix is still dominated by fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and gas, as well as large hydro power plants. ...
The climate vulnerable forum (CVF), now uniting 49 of the world’s countries most vulnerable to climate change, has again taken centre-stage in the fight against global warming and for an equitable international climate regime. At the recent IMF and World Bank spring meeting in Washington, the finance ministers of the group, the Vulnerable 20 (V20), met with representatives of its “big brother”, the G20, to discuss issues related to climate finance, effective mitigation policies, support for adaptation and resilience and above all: enhanced cooperation.
It was only last year when the group of the 20 leading economies (G20) evoked hopes that it would eventually bring forward serious climate policy and climate finance. The Chinese G20 presidency had put its weight behind important agenda items in this direction and the German government promised that climate will become a priority topic under this year's German G20 presidency. However, since US president Trump took office, mood depressed. Germanwatch works with vehemence at multiple levels to ensure that the blockade strategy of the new republican US government proves to be unsuccessful.