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.
China is the host of this year's G20 summit. This more active role of China in global governance is a reflection of a changing world. The Hangzhou summit also reflects another significant change: Climate action and sustainable development are no longer considered side discussions, but are centrally on the G20 agenda. The G20, traditionally a forum to discuss financial stability and economic policy, are beginning to reflect the fact that unsustainable development and unmitigated climate change are huge risks to a stable and prosperous world economy.
Representing two-thirds of global population, four-fifth of world GDP and more than three-quarters of total greenhouse gas emissions, the G20 – group of the leading industrialized countries and largest emerging economies is a central platform for the implementation of the Paris agreement. When G20 leaders meet at the Hangzhou summit from September 4th to 5th, climate change and decarbonisation have to rank high on the agenda. For the Paris Agreement to enter into force, it has to be signed by at least 55 countries representing no less than 55% of global GHG emissions.
The Nansen Initiative, which ended in 2015, developed a comprehensive "Protection Agenda” over the course of 3 years, which to date has been endorsed by over 100 countries. Although not producing new legal regulations, the initiative was pioneering in that it was the first intergovernmental process to work on protecting people displaced across borders by disasters and in the context of climate change. Its focus on exploring existing political instruments in order to close the protection gap has made for a solid foundation for further work. Now next steps are to be taken.