08 Sep 2023, 13:42
Julian Wettengel

Germany pushes for global renewables targets at G20 summit

Clean Energy Wire

Germany is advocating for an agreement on "a clear and concrete target" for the global expansion of renewables among the Group of Twenty (G20), said a German government official. "We want to establish this initiative in the G20 context as well," said the official ahead of the upcoming meeting of heads of state and government in New Delhi, India, from 9 – 10 September. Chancellor Olaf Scholz first showed his support for the idea during the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin in May. The G7 agreed on joint expansion targets amongst themselves in April. Bloomberg reported this week that the G20 could agree to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030.

The official also said Germany hoped to establish language on emissions peaking – when global emissions will start to decrease. At the upcoming summit in India, it was very important for Germany to agree “ambitious language on climate" in view of another major international event later this year – the UN climate change conference, COP28, in Dubai. However, the official said this wasn’t going to be easy. "It is a question on which there are very different opinions, for example on how to remain within the 1.5 degree limit [set out in the Paris Agreement].”

Other major disagreements include climate finance, and the question of phasing out fossil fuels. "Phasing fossil fuels out is going to be a crucial, messy, and unavoidable fight [among the G20]”, said Madhura Joshi, senior associate at think tank E3G. "But it’s one that leaders need to have."

India was pushing for a united final communiqué that – unlike in other recent years – would refrain from language such as "most countries agree", said the official. This made it more difficult to come to a consensus on issues like Russia's war against Ukraine. At the 2017 summit in Germany, for example, 19 countries called the Paris Climate Agreement "irreversible", isolating then U.S. president Donald Trump. The German official also confirmed that negotiations on a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) to support India in a coal phase out would not be finalised by the time of the summit. "It's too early to expect a concrete result at the summit," said the official, and added that negotiations continued to be "constructive". Last year's G20 summit in Indonesia was used as a stage to present a JETP for the host country.

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