Support for multilateral commitments, especially those involving ambitious climate action, appears to be fading, but the G20 must throw its weight behind implementation of both the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, writes the German Development Institute (die) in a briefing paper. To do this, the G20 should strive for strong political declarations, but focus on issue-centred initiatives palatable to domestic audiences, without framing these as “climate policy”. “Many climate actions promise real benefits in terms of job creation, economic savings, competitiveness, and improved well-being more generally, writes die. The G20 should also increasingly include non-state and subnational actors, and mainstream the climate issue across all G20 work streams.
G20 nations are responsible for about 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and represent 80 percent of global wealth. The current US administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement has made progress on climate much more difficult. At the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017, the German G20 Presidency and Chancellor Angela Merkel pulled off a “solid” diplomatic success on climate policy by closing ranks of all G20 members for an agreement, with the exception of the United States.