Responsible for about 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, cities can play a critical role in reducing these emissions – especially as their populations surge over the coming decades and many cities struggle with aging and inadequate infrastructure. Climate change increases the risk and stress to water, sewer, drainage and transportation systems as well as infrastructure, as these systems are more exposed to the impact of increasingly powerful hurricanes, typhoons and other natural disasters. Clear greenhouse gas reduction goals, viable strategies, enhanced capacity and tangible financing are essential for cities to reduce emissions and become increasingly resilient.
Innovation Technology / ICT
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as satellites, mobile phones or the Internet, play a key role in addressing the major challenges related with climate change and sustainable development. ICTs are fundamental for monitoring climate change, mitigating and adapting to its effects and assisting in the transition towards a green and circular economy. By raising awareness on the role of ICTs, ITU is promoting transformative solutions that can ensure a sustainable future for all.
Agriculture, Improving food security
Factors such as global population growth, climate change, fluctuation in precipitation, extreme weather events like droughts and flooding, and increased water consumption in industry and other sectors pose fundamental challenges to agriculture. The aim is to be able to feed the world’s growing population through sustainable and more productive agriculture. The G20 will focus on the question of how this can be achieved without increasing water consumption to unsustainable levels. Food security for present and future generations, dynamic rural economic areas, and social and political stability depend on giving opportunities to a growing young population, particularly in Africa. A further focus will therefore be on youth employment and innovation in rural areas.
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015 was a milestone in the recent history of the United Nations. The G20 will be resolute in itsendeavours to ensure, both through individual and collective action, the rapid and comprehensive implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with its global goals for sustainable development, and of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We aim to promote these endeavours through concrete measures to implement the G20 Action Plan during the German G20 Presidency. The 2030 Agenda represents an important framework in the work programme of the German G20 Presidency. We also wish to exchange views in the G20 on the potential of and measures for resource efficiency. Furthermore, the G20 will engage in a dialogue on reducing marine litter worldwide.
Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase under a ‘business as usual’ scenario by nearly 50 per cent by 2030 and more than 80 per cent by 2050, compared with year-end 2009. This increase in emissions will be primarily caused by a projected surge in the global stock of vehicles. Already in 2009, transport contributed approximately one-quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions and was responsible for about one-fifth of energy use. Measures that reduce the demand for travel, including compact city planning combined with the large-scale expansion of public transport systems improvements in energy-efficient transportation systems along with the promotion of non-motorised transport, could save Governments, companies and individuals up to $70 trillion by 2050 as less money would need to be invested in vehicles, fuel and transportation infrastructure.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” (Nikola Tesla)
The impact of increasing climate change presents one of the most significant global challenges and is already leading to high costs and risks around the world. By adopting the Paris Agreement, the international community is taking decisive action against climate change and setting a clear goal, that is, to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality during the course of this century and limit global warming to significantly below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, ideally to 1.5°C. Beyond the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the G20 wishes to make headway on ambitious implementation and to support third countries in doing so. Such an approach can strengthen technological innovation and employment in future-oriented industries if the G20 provides long-term direction and certainty through common framework conditions for the economy. To this end, the G20 also wishes to link climate and energy policy more closely and, with the aim of ensuring a reliable investment climate, to intensify activities, and contribute to a better management of climate risks. A secure, economically efficient and greenhouse gas neutral energy supply accessible to everyone is a fundamental prerequisite for economic growth and prosperity, and one of the main priorities of the G20. The aim of discussions in the G20 is to foster appropriate political frameworks, financing instruments, and economic incentives for investments in climate-resilient infrastructure and to boost technological innovations.
Resource Efficiency & The Circular Economy
Resource efficiency is vital for economic growth, competitiveness of industries and employment, according to the G7.In the Leaders’ Declaration that came from the G7 2015 Summit in Germany, a whole section was devoted to resource efficiency.Leaders from the G7, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States, set out the following in the Declaration:“The protection and efficient use of natural resources is vital for sustainable development. We strive to improve resource efficiency, which we consider crucial for the competitiveness of industries, for economic growth and employment, and for the protection of the environment, climate and planet.“Building on the “Kobe 3R Action Plan”, and on other existing initiatives, we will continue to take ambitious action to improve resource efficiency as part of broader strategies to promote sustainable materials management and material-cycle societies.“We are establishing the G7-Alliance on Resource Efficiency as a forum to share knowledge and create information networks on a voluntary basis. As set out in the annex, the Alliance will collaborate with businesses, SMEs, and other relevant stakeholders to advance opportunities offered by resource efficiency, promote best practices, and foster innovation.