May 13, 2022

Climate and climate change: the agenda of the G20 leaders

The G20 summit is happening this week, and the agenda includes climate change. The world’s 20 largest economies are meeting to discuss how they can respond to the challenges of global warming. This summit could be a turning point for international efforts on climate change – but leaders must first agree on what needs to be done.

The summit takes place at a time when the Paris agreement is under threat. President Trump feels that the United States, one of the world’s biggest emitters, should not have to take on commitments alone. Some fear his move could bolster other countries’ reluctance to take action as well. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel has been lobbying hard for climate change to be included in the final statement. It is unclear whether other countries will follow her lead, however, as they must first agree on the wording of that document.

Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets across Germany to protest against global warming and promote sustainable energy sources. Organizers are particularly worried about one country at this year’s summit President Trump, who is expected to announce his decision on whether America will pull out of the Paris agreement.

Standing in front of a wall of solar panels, protesters in Berlin called for more action on climate change. They want Germany’s politicians to do more and many took aim at President Trump, who is expected to announce his decision on whether America will pull out of the Paris agreement.

Christoph Bautz, head of the activist group ‘Klima-Allianz’, said it took leaders too long to act.

We are here today because we want future generations to have a liveable world – this means climate friendly and we want this to be in the G-20 agenda. We want them to agree on clear climate action and we need a strong implementation of Paris agreement and we need to set up new emission reductions in all countries – not only in US but also in Europe, China and India.

This year’s summit is taking place at a time when the Paris agreement is under threat. President Trump feels that the United States, one of the world’s biggest emitters, should not have to take on commitments alone. Some fear his move could bolster other countries’ reluctance to take action as well.

Economist Gerard Dinnen believes it would be a major setback if America withdraws.

If the US were to pull out of Paris, it would be a real blow to global momentum. It might well have devastating effects and it would certainly damage the chances of holding temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius this century. The other 19 countries should really take a lead and they should not let Mr Trump’s opposition to Paris agreement mean that we abort the last 20 years of momentum towards a global agreement on climate change.

Early next week the leaders will discuss the future of energy and climate – and it’s clear that Germany is pushing hard for progress. For now, we just have to wait and see what the other 19 countries say.