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.
Phase-out and reallocation of fossil fuel subsidies (FFS) is a low-hanging fruit for financing and implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FFS reform has been included in the SDG architecture as a means of implementation for SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production, but its linkages with other Goals should be taken into account to catalyze action on multiple issue areas.
South Africa is the only African country in the G20. It is challenged by a slowing, energy intensive economy, an enormous stock of ageing infrastructure in coal and very high inequality. For dealing with these challenges, South Africa needs to change its development strategy. Political momentum within the G20 could help to break the fossil fuel inertia.
Due to heavy rainfall the risks in Huaraz increase, but no considerable damage has happened yet. Hundreds of thousands of people in Peru are hit by floods and landslides which are the result of unusually strong rainfall. Poorer populations in particular are confronted with the consequences of those rainfalls. Many people lost their homes and are now facing an unsecure future.
Weather extremes are about to become the new norm: For the third time in a row, 2016 was the warmest year since the beginning of the weather records. In Asia, unprecedented heat in spring burst temperature records in India, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. A drought in Africa, caused by one of the strongest ever experienced El Nino events, triggered a food crisis with more than 36 million people affected. In Haiti, the devastating impacts of hurricane Matthew left 1.4 million people dependent on humanitarian aid. Repeatedly, developing countries are the most affected. The long-term analysis of Germanwatch’s Climate Risk Index, covering the past 20 years, finds that the ten most impacted countries are exclusively developing countries.
Ein Bündnis der G20-Staaten mit den am stärksten vom Klimawandel betroffenen Staaten und ihrer Ministergruppe V20 auf Augenhöhe? Das ist möglich und Deutschland sollte einen formalen G20-V20-Dialog auf den Weg bringen – im Interesse des Pariser Klimavertrags. Für viele der vom Klimawandel besonders bedrohten Staaten ist Klimapolitik eine Frage des Überlebens. Deswegen gehen die im Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) zusammengeschlossenen besonders verletzlichen Staaten in den Klimaverhandlungen immer wieder voran. Die G20, die Gruppe der größten Emittenten, sträubt sich hingegen nach wie vor, die notwendigen Maßnahmen zu ergreifen, um den globalen Temperaturanstieg auf 1,5 Grad zu begrenzen.
One of the greatest challenges the new government in Argentina is currently facing is the ongoing energy crisis. In response, the South-American nation has started to rapidly expand renewable generation. This strategy also pays off internationally for Argentina, who will take over the G20 presidency from Germany in December 2017.
Globally, green investments are on the rise. Even the G20 embarked on a mission to harness the finance sector’s potential in support of a global shift to sustainable and low-carbon economies. On December 1st, Germany takes over the G20 presidency from China. What steps can the German presidency take to foster global finance that is more geared towards the needs of sustainable, climate-friendly development?
Boris Schinke, Senior Advisor Energy and Development, interviewed Safa Al Jayoussi, head of the Climate and Energy campaign of the NGO "Indyact" based in Lebaon and Jordan. She is also the co-coordinator of the Climate Action Network Arab World.