G20 discusses climate sustainability

Senior officials from G20 countries and invited guests will participate in two days of meetings on climate sustainability, an issue that has its own separate G20 working group for the first time.

The G20 Climate Sustainability Working Group began its two-day meeting today with the objective of working on a response to climate change, creating long-term strategies and mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mobilizing climate finance flows.

At the event’s opening at the CCK, Argentine Minister of the Environment & Sustainable Development Sergio Bergman highlighted the importance of international cooperation. “We all share the responsibility for future generations. This is the time to act, to build consensus for fair and sustainable development,” he said. “We have the means to address the challenge of climate change to transform the situation and open the door to a safe and stable future for everyone,” he added.

Minister of Energy & Mining Juan José Aranguren spoke of the regional challenge in energy issues. “Latin America has an array of opportunities to establish a more sustainable energy grid, improve infrastructure and ensure safe energy access for its entire population.”

Four documents will be presented to the working group upon the request of the Argentine G20 presidency. They have been prepared by different international organizations: the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). These documents will serve as the base for compiling best practices and a work plan for climate action that can respond to extreme weather patterns. In this context, the focus is on models for building resilient infrastructure and creating jobs.

As the region of Latin America and the Caribbean suffers from extreme climate conditions that can deteriorate infrastructure and destroy methods of sustenance, primarily affecting the most vulnerable, the proposal is to work on an inclusive and pragmatic focus that speaks to the realities the region’s countries face in adapting to the adverse effects of climate change.

The issue of climate action was addressed by the G20 for the first time in 2008. In 2017, the issue was addressed formally in the Sustainability Working Group, which also included energy issues. Under the Argentine G20 presidency this year, climate sustainability has been given its own working group for the first time. The next meeting of the Climate Sustainability Working Group will be on 29-30 August in Puerto Iguazú, in Misiones province.

About the G20

The G20 started out in 1999 as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors. In 2008, amidst the global financial crisis, it evolved into what it is today: a major forum for dialogue and decision-making attended by world leaders from vital economies. Together, the G20 members represent 85% of global GDP, two-thirds of the world’s population, and 75% of international trade.