The G20 debates how to finance public policies against climate change
27 abril 2018


Climate change. The first meeting of the Group on Climate Sustainability of the G20 concluded after two days of work. The agenda of the meetings, which took place April 17th and 18th in Buenos Aires, was marked by the intention to generate strategies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the long term and mobilize financing in this area. The meeting was attended by Paula Caballero from the World Resources Institute and Lucas Black from UNDP. Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Howard Bamsey, executive director of the Green Climate Fund, Michael Mullan of OECD and Catherine Saget of ILO were also present. The next meeting of the Group on Climate Sustainability will be August 29th and 30th in Iguazú, Argentina.

Argentina has assumed the G20 presidency for 2018. Argentine officials expect member countries to reach an agreement on climate change throughout this year. Thus, they seek to avoid repeating what occurred in 2017 in Germany, where the final document exposed the differences between the United States and the other 19 members regarding climate change.

The Group commissioned four documents that will be discussed at the end of August at the second and last meeting of the year, which will take place in Puerto Iguazú, on the triple border (Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay).

Two of these works will discuss adaptation to climate change, and will be carried out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UN Environment. The other two will be about long-term strategies, under the responsibility of the World Resources Institute, an international research organization, and on how to align funding with national contributions established in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which will be in charge of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

During the two days of the meeting, the countries that had already finalized documents on their long-term strategies (ELP) shared their experiences. These were Germany, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico and France. The ELPs are voluntary plans that nations have been invited to present by the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, about their vision of how it is possible to transform their productive and energy matrixes by 2050 .

“Each of these countries designed their ELP in their own way. Some countries said they used it as a way to send a signal to the private sector about what types of technologies are predicted for the climate transition and others spoke in terms of job creation” said Lucas Black, climate change specialist of the Program of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Next steps

The next meeting of the Group on Climate Sustainability will be August 29th and 30th in Iguazú, Argentina. There, the four documents on climate change that the Group entrusted to the OECD, the UN, the ILO and the World Resources Institute will be studied.