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.
India made the world news today, on October 2nd - Gandhi's brithday, a special day for India - by submitting its ratification of the Paris climate agreement to the United Nations. With India formally joining the agreement, it not only accepts its obligations under the agreement, but also brings the agreement one step further towards entry into force. Ratification by India signals a new, more active role, in international climate policy, building on progress achieved at the domestic level. The coming years will be crucial to confirm India's development path in a greener and more sustainable direction. Partnerships with countries like Germany will be essential to enable this transformation.
Global decarbonisation will stem from a wide array of policy instruments: regulatory frameworks, long-term low-carbon strategies, technology development and transfer and fiscal and market incentives. As long as the prices of established fossil fuel technologies remain far below their true cost to society, it will be difficult to push them out of the market. A coordinated effort to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and establish carbon pricing schemes and domestic floor prices throughout the G20 would be a major step forward.