On November 30th, the eve of the German G20 Presidency, Germanwatch and Stiftung Mercator hosted an expert dialogue on climate and energy policy priorities for the G20. The outgoing Chinese Presidency had put the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Treaty on the G20 agenda, emphasizing green finance and infrastructure investment. International experts and 60 guests from politics, business and civil society discussed what the German G20 presidency can and should do to counter the global climate crisis against the background of the current changes in the political landscape.
Under the Paris Agreement, climate action was anchored in the context of international law. This requires countries to make their own unique contribution to the prevention of dangerous climate change. The next crucial step to follow this agreement is the rapid implementation by the signing parties of concrete measures to make their individual contributions to the global goal. For the past 12 years, the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) has been keeping track of countries’ efforts in combating climate change. The varying initial positions, interests and strategies of the numerous countries make it difficult to distinguish their strengths and weaknesses and the CCPI has been an important tool in contributing to a clearer understanding of national and international climate policy.
More than 40 major businesses and trade associations are demanding more climate ambition and a bold implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement in Germany. The companies, from a large variety of sectors, are encouraging the German government to adopt a long-term Decarbonisation Plan with a climate target at the upper end of the current target range of an 80 to 95 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. Businesses need interim sector targets for the power, buildings, industry, transport and agriculture sectors, write the signatories, amongst them the construction major Hochtief, the electricity producer EnBW, the retailer Metro and Commerzbank. The declaration was coordinated by the business associations Foundation 2° and B.A.U.M. as well as the development and environment NGO Germanwatch.
Since the 2015 adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the success of the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it has become clear that “business as usual” is no longer an option for neither industrialized countries nor the developing world. Both the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement (PA) entail substantial consequences for the world financial system. Mobilizing the massive investment required for climate resilient, low-carbon infrastructure and development, transforming the world economy and hedging the climate-related risk to the financial system form formidable challenges to the public and the private sector alike.