Climate Transparency presented its newly launched Brown to Green report at the F20 side event “G20 and Climate Protection. Expectations, Opportunities and Perspectives” in Hamburg on 3 July.

The F20 Foundations Platform is an alliance of more than 45 foundations and philanthropic organizations from twelve countries that have joined forces in order to further shape the political discourse on future sustainability measures. Before, during and after the G20 Summit in Hamburg 2017, it calls for common and transnational action towards a zero-carbon economy and a successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

After the presentation of Climate Transparency on how well the G20 countries are transitioning to a low-carbon economy, Gerrit Hansen, Germanwatch, sketched different scenarios on if and how the G20 might embrace climate change and green finance in its final summit communique.

A panel discussion including two Climate Transparency partners – Charlene Watson, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK, and Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN), Argentina – followed.

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, FARN, stated that a G20 summit communique with a strong message on climate change would give the Facilitative Dialogue under the UNFCCC process a push. The Facilitative Dialogue in 2018 is mandated to take stock of the collective efforts of countries and is intended to inform the revision of their national determined contributions (NDCs).

Argentina takes over the G20 Presidency in 2018. Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis expressed that it was not clear yet to what extent climate change will stay on the agenda. Argentina might split the G20 Sustainability Working Group again in two separate working groups on climate and on energy undermining the newly established integrated approach.

Charlene Watson, ODI, acknowledged the peer review process of fossil fuel subsidies among G20 countries. Yet, she stated that this process was not sufficiently transparent lacking quality assurance and a clear definition of what counts as fossil fuels. G20 climate finance institutions spent about USD 213 billion for fossil fuels on average a year in 2013 and 2014.

Alexander El Alaoui, analyst at the asset manager Salm-Salm & Partner, stressed that the political approach of the G20 needed to be translated in an actionable approach for investors. The recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures were a first step, but implementation practices had to be shared. According Alexander El Alaoui, green investments are increasing, however global portfolio managers are still focusing too much on the electricity sector. For a transition to a low-carbon economy, investments in other sectors are needed.

Finally, Gerrit Hansen, Germanwatch, emphasized that climate change needed to be mainstreamed in other G20 tracks besides the Sherpa track to reach the Paris Agreement goals of limiting the global temperature to well below 2°C/1.5 °C.

The F20 side event was organized by Stiftung Mercator.