On 22 and 23 May, 900 decision-makers from countries, regions and cities as well as stakeholders and experts from around the world convened for the International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA 2019) in Heidelberg. Their aim: strengthening mitigation and adaptation measures, especially in urban areas, by improving coordination and cooperation across all levels of government and with civil society and the private sector.
The G20 has a strong economic interest in limiting global warming to 1.5°C due to climate change’s negative impact on total economic activity, the productivity of the workforce and the smooth functioning of financial markets. The G20 countries are key for driving this global transition since they account for approximately 80 % of global greenhouse gas emissions, 85 % of global gross domestic product and 75 % of foreign direct investment flows.
The Paris Agreement sets an irreversible direction for countries to tackle the climate crisis and pursue sustainable development. However, the Agreement still has to show that it can trigger the necessary ambition of action. One potential way to accelerate action are transformative implementation partnerships.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) has involved external experts or stakeholders measuring performance of a project or an activity against preset indicators, using standardized procedures and tools. However, with growing emphasis on participatory approaches towards development, there has been recognition that M&E should also be inclusive and consultative.
In Japan, this year's G20 host, awareness of climate-related risks has risen in recent years. However, the road to a fully sustainable financial system is still long.
Not only cities and municipalities, but also the real estate industry are driving the market for green bonds in Sweden, making the country a pioneer in sustainable finance. However, there are still no binding standards.
China is following ambitious green finance plans – also for its investments overseas. But some standards are too low and should be tightened. So far, coal investments have also been considered green if the projects are "cleaner".
For Canada, the concept of a sustainable finance is still relatively new. But its importance is growing steadily and can become a model of success for the country.
Already in 2015, France adopted a law on climate risk disclosure paving the way for protecting economic systems from the consequences of climate change. But others need to follow.
The role sustainable lifestyles can play in achieving a paradigm shift to sustainability is acknowledged in both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement of 2015. They can be defined as “responsible living with our total surrounding and ourselves”, thus including aspects like global equity (see previous blogpost). Nevertheless, the vast majority of scientific literature focuses on ecological sustainability.