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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

G20 Outcomes

So now that everything is back to normal, what did the G20 actually accomplish and what did it not (from the Green perspective)?


1. Replacing G7/8 with the G20
Since 1975, the Group of 7 richest countries in the world has met to discuss the fate of the world. The less rich countries and the emerging nations have long been ired at this totalitarian governance. The first G20 occurred in November of 2008 in Washington, DC. It is a much more inclusive group representing both developing and developed nations. The heads of state have decided that this group in addition to being more representative is also better. Win for all. As I blogged about earlier, many of these developing nations are very serious about addressing climate change.

2. Fossil Fuel subsidies to be eliminated... sometime
The heads of the G20 have committed to eliminating fossil fuels. It's great to see a unanimous front on this issue. It's a joke to claim that clean energy is a goal while giving developing countries incentive to use dirty energy. Unfortunately, the process of eliminating the subsidies still needs to be ironed out and will take many studies both here and abroad to even figure out the many ways fossil fuels are subsidized in developing countries.

Not Done:

1. No firm footing on subsidies for developing nations to invest in clean energy.

In July, United States President Barack Obama asked the G20 finance ministers to take up climate financing issues and report back at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh. The ball was dropped and no clear plan emerged from the finance ministers. The number one argument by developing nations against Climate Change action is that they are being affected by climate change already but are neither causing it nor prepared financially to respond to it. It is imperative that if the richest nations (and most carbon-producing nations) in the world want to address the issue of climate change that they start by reaching into their pockets.

What's Next?

1. G20 meets in November in Scotland
The finance ministers are to report back at the next G20 meeting. Hopefully with more solid ground.

2. The last meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is in December in Copenhagen
This group has been charged with having an environmental treaty in place to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012. If financing is not in place by then, many people believe that a new treaty will not be viable. The United States was conspicuously absent from the Kyoto Protocol agreement. Hopefully, we will not have a repeat of that.

1 comment:

Pama Mitchell said...

Hi Chris,
You've got a lot going on in this blog--it's very informative. I like the "we recommend" rail.
Let me know your restaurant adventures in Cincinnati and NC, if you get the chance!
--Pama, the healthy foodie