Renewable energy and green financing took the center stage of the G20 summit
A new G-20 presidency is assumed by India on December 1, 2022, taking over from Indonesia, providing an opportunity for India to demonstrate that it is a rising power and a global energy leader. As the world’s most populous country and the fifth-largest economy in the world, India is positioning itself well to lead the transition to cleaner energy sources amid immense pressure from its growing energy needs. The G-20 provided India with an opportunity to pivot the global energy system towards low carbon fuels during its presidency at New Delhi from 9th to 10th September.
The major focus of the summit was on Green Energy, Sustainable energy, and replacement of fossil fuel by Biofuel. In a joint statement, the G20 countries agreed to take immediate action to reduce unabated coal power, but did not commit to phase out all fossil fuels, including oil and gas, that cause pollution. G20 countries contribute to nearly 85% of the world’s GDP and hence it was crucial for the global leaders to accelerate the transition to a net-zero energy future by scaling up renewable energy.
The summit emphasized the importance of “Common but Differentiated Responsibility” in addressing climate change, as well as the need to reduce global carbon emissions and switch to cleaner energy sources. In pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the G-20 leaders pledged to accelerate progress on green development and climate finance through the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) movement.
India prioritized energy transition goals under the G-20 framework by promoting green development and climate finance, inclusive and resilient growth, and progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A key goal of India’s environmental conservation effort is to show how economic development can coexist with environmental conservation.
Delhi Declaration Act
As part of the G20 summit this year, the Delhi Declaration was adopted, addressing the concerns of the so-called petro states while committing to global net zero emissions by mid-century as part of a commitment to the Paris Agreement. An effective transition to net-zero emissions requires increasing renewable energy and eliminating fossil fuels unabated.
In line with the findings of the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), delegates stressed the importance of reaching global greenhouse gas emission peaks somewhere between 2020 and no later than 2025 in order to achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals.
Implementing national climate plans
Global GHG emissions need to be reduced by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C. A voluntary action plan to double the rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030 was also noted by the group, which includes some of the richest economies in the world. Nevertheless, the Paris Agreement remains inadequate as far as achieving temperature objectives outlined in combating climate change is concerned. For developing countries to implement their national climate plans effectively in the pre-2030 period, they will need $5.9 trillion, preferably $1.5 trillion, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
In accordance with national circumstances and taking into account the latest scientific developments, the G20 has committed to achieving global net zero emissions by mid-century. As part of existing targets and policies, the forum committed to doubling renewable energy capacity by 2030, as well as demonstrating similar ambitions in regard to other low-emission and zero-emission technologies, including abatement and removal technologies, based on national conditions.
For developing countries to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, approximately $4 trillion will be required annually for clean energy technologies by 2030, according to a G20 member. Investment and climate finance need to be scaled up substantially, from billions to trillions of dollars from all sources. Furthermore, G20 countries urged developed countries to double their collective adaptation finance provision by 2025.
Besides aligning financial flows with climate objectives, the Declaration stressed the need to expand finance, capacity-building, and technology transfer to meet developing countries’ needs. As part of delegate commitment, which dates back to 2009, developed countries reaffirm their commitment to mobilize $100 billion in climate finance by 2020, continuing through 2025. This goal is expected to be reached for the first time in 2023 by developed countries.
A minimum of $100 billion in climate finance was also called for by the G20 in 2024, including ambitious, transparent, and trackable New Collective Quantified Goals (NCQGs). They said this should consider the needs and priorities of developing countries in alignment with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Paris Agreement objectives. It is important to note that the Pittsburgh conversation was not one between energy ministers, as mentioned in the reference to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
Swati D’Souza, Lead Analyst & Coordinator, India, International Energy Agency shared with international media’s that “From an energy and climate perspective, the Indian G20 presidency had an ambitious agenda focused on new and emerging clean energy technologies and finance. But as it happens, this agenda got repurposed. The only highlight right now is the clear and concise language with respect to tripling RE. This provides a platform for further clarification between now and COP (target, baseline, year). Moreover, if this gets into COP summaries, it becomes another hook for countries to expand their NDC ambitions on”.
Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)
A Global Biofuel Alliance was also launched at the G20 Summit in New Delhi on 9 September by India along with leaders of Singapore, Bangladesh, Italy, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Mauritius, and the United Arab Emirates. The Alliance intends to expedite the global uptake of biofuels through facilitating technology advancements, intensifying utilization of sustainable biofuels, shaping robust standard setting and certification through the participation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders. The alliance will also act as a central repository of knowledge and an expert hub. GBA aims to serve as a catalytic platform, fostering global collaboration for the advancement and widespread adoption of biofuels.