Analysis: The G20 Summit, UN Global Stocktake, and the Urgency for Climate Action
The G20 summit held in Delhi in 2023 had climate change as one of its key agendas, especially with respect to clean energy and sustainable development. Just ahead of the summit, the United Nations released its Global Stocktake report, which essentially assessed the climate actions taken by countries since the 2015 Paris Agreement. The report sets the stage for the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) scheduled to happen in Dubai this November.
Significance of the UN Global Stocktake
The Global Stocktake serves as an official review of what countries have actually done to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2015. The aim was to restrict global warming to 2°C and strive to limit it to 1.5°C. However, according to the report, we are far off track and must achieve a drastic reduction in GHG emissions by 43% by 2030, 60% by 2035, and aim for netzero CO2 emissions by 2050.
In 2015, nations around the world committed to reduce GHG emissions under the Paris Agreement. However, as per the Stocktake, the emissions gap in line with 1.5°C in 2030 is expected to be between 20.3 to 23.9 billion tonnes of CO2.
Funding and Technological Needs
The G20 Leader’s Declaration recognized that for developing countries to meet the set goals, a sum of USD 5.85.9 trillion is required in the pre2030 period. Additionally, USD 4 trillion per year is needed by 2030 for the adoption of clean energy technologies to achieve netzero emissions by 2050.
Funding commitments like the Green Climate Fund aim to help developing countries in transitioning to cleaner energy sources. However, the scale of the need as identified in the G20 summit far outstrips current commitments.
Roadblocks and Challenges
Despite acknowledgment of the crisis, progress is slow, particularly in the area of energy transition. G20 countries alone account for 93% of global operating coal power plants and 88% of prospective ones.
Even as countries pledge to shut down coal plants, many are still operational or under planning, which hinders the global transition to renewable energy sources.
The Way Forward
The Stocktake report should not be seen as just another document but should form the basis for negotiations at the upcoming COP28. Genuine breakthroughs are necessary, including ramping up renewable energy, adoption of electric vehicles, and reversing deforestation.
Countries like Denmark have set ambitious goals to end oil exploration by 2050 and focus on wind energy. Such examples should serve as a model for other countries at the COP28 discussions.
The G20 summit and the UN’s Global Stocktake have set the stage for COP28. The need for collective responsibility and immediate, largescale actions is clearer than ever. The world needs to unite and act fast to mitigate the impending climate crisis.