Saudi Arabia, this year’s G20 host, has organised a virtual meeting between the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of G20 countries on July 18.

They’ll be discussing the global economic outlook, efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and how to lay out the foundations for a swift recovery – here are three reasons it could well turn out to be an extremely important moment in climate diplomacy.

1

THE BIGGEST ECONOMIES ARE ALSO THE BIGGEST EMITTERS

Collectively, G20 members account for around 85% of the global GDP and 80% of global carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) due to their fossil fuel dependency. Also, G20’s work encompasses action on key global challenges such as climate change in addition to its core economic mandate. Hence, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have a collective role in making the financial flows consistent with global long-term climate goals.

2

THE POST-PANDEMIC RECOVERY PLANS THEY DISCUSS WILL SHAPE INVESTMENT TRENDS FOR DECADES

They are officially gathering to coordinate collective action for a robust and sustained global economic recovery, as stated in the meeting’s press release. The economic recovery plans and decisions made in response to COVID-19 will lock in global development trends for decades. Several leaders have already made clear: these plans must be built collectively for resilience against future global challenges such as the climate crisis.

3

THIS WILL BE THE NEXT MAJOR TEST OF COUNTRIES’ COMMITMENT TO GREEN NEW DEALS

UN Secretary General Guterres and G20 leaders such as Merkel, Von Der Leyen, Jae-in and Koizumi have publicly said investing in renewables, energy efficiency and new technology will kickstart economic growth post COVID, create millions of skilled jobs, and reduce GHG emissions and air pollution. The G20 already pledged to deliver a sustainable and resilient recovery in April 2020.

However, in many cases their words are yet to be matched with action.

Many G20 countries have already introduced their own individual recovery packages in response to the pandemic. A recent analysis made from 14 independent expert organizations show that these packages benefit fossil fuels more than renewable energy: G20 countries have committed at least USD 151 billion to fossil fuels in their stimulus and recovery packages – compared to just USD 89 billion to clean energy. For further information and country specific data visit the Energy Policy Tracker.