On the sidelines of COP24, a group of high-level representatives from fourteen G20 countries gathered in Katowice to discuss their vision for ambitious action to develop and implement long-term climate strategies.
Over a breakfast hosted by Rabbi Sergio Bergman, Government Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development, Argentina, the high-level representatives from the G20 nations affirmed their willingness to implement necessary actions that simultaneously deliver long-term emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement goals – along with national development objectives.
While G20 countries are responsible for about 75 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, only six of them have communicated official plans for how they’re going to reduce their emissions between now and 2050. Long-term strategies have a key role to play in the transition toward low emissions and climate resilient economies. They set out long-term goals for climate and development, and direct short-term decision-making to support the necessary shifts to limit global warming and lift people out of poverty. Long-term strategies also serve as a basis for increasing ambition, because they articulate a long-term vision that is achievable.
“Long-term strategies are about building the future we want,” Government Secretary Bergman said. “These strategies build a common ground for climate and sustainability, supporting just and sustainable growth.”
Key messages from the meeting include:
long-term strategies are one of the most important contributions that G20 countries can make to support the achievement of the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement;
momentum is growing around long-term strategies—this is reflected in the 2018 G20 Leaders’ Communique; six G20 countries have already communicated strategies to the UNFCCC, which is well ahead of the invitation to do so by 2020;
the science is clear about the structural transformations needed to limit warming to 1.5-2°C and without a long-term vision, we cannot have ambition to reach these temperature goals;
long-term planning yields positive results for the economy—it drives innovation, supports just and fair transitions, and shows pathways for growing economies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
there are many similarities in the way that G20 nations are approaching long-term strategies, despite the differences in national circumstances;
countries welcome the sharing of experiences and best practices on long-term strategies in the context of the G20 and other international fora;
2019 will be a critical year for advancing long-term strategies.
The meeting was supported by World Resources Institute, the United Nations Development Programme, and the 2050 Pathways Platform. The discussion built on a year of work on long-term strategies under this year’s G20 Climate and Sustainability Working Group. WRI and UNDP also developed a paper for the G20 Argentine Presidency on long-term strategies, outlining potential approaches and methodologies.