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Last update: 16.12.2013

G20 - Group of Twenty

Since the financial crisis in Asia in the 1990s, the group of the twenty major industrialised and newly industrialising countries (G20) has met at the level of ministers of finance and presidents or chairmen of the central banks. In reaction to the global economic and financial crisis the heads of state and government also started meeting in the G20 context in November 2008 in Washington. In addition to the G8 countries, member states include China, India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the EU. The G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 took the decision to meet twice in 2010 (in Canada and in Korea) and to have an annual G20 Summit starting 2011. Following an initial discussion as to whether the G8 and G20 meetings should be merged, both platforms have meanwhile been established as high level meetings. In addition to financial issues, the G20 agenda now also includes a discussion on other global challenges such as environmental and development policies.

G20 activities in environmental policy

Toronto G20 Summit 2010

At the Toronto G20 Summit, which took place from 26 to 27 June 2010 and was organised back to back with the G8 Summit, the heads of state and government declared their support for the UN climate negotiations and recognised the need to exchange best practices for the protection of the marine environment as well as for the prevention of accidents in the context of offshore oil extraction and the mitigation of their impacts.

Seoul G20 Summit 2010

At the next G20 Summit in Seoul from 11 to 12 November 2010 progress was made in the field of climate funding. Other topics at the meeting included the protection of marine environments, biodiversity and green growth.

Cannes G20 Summit 2011

The Cannes Summit, which took place from 3 to 4 November 2011 under the French Presidency, also covered funding of the fight against global climate change as a priority environmental issue. In the run-up to the UN climate conference in Durban in South Africa (28 November to 9 December 2011), the heads of state and government of the G20 reaffirmed their willingness to step up their efforts to establish the climate fund and make it operational. They also discussed a report on climate funding submitted by the World Bank, the IMF, the OECD and regional development banks. The heads of state and government of the G20 asked their ministers of finance to report to the subsequent 2012 Summit at Los Cabos on the progress achieved in the field of climate funding. Other topics which were once again discussed by the Cannes G20 Summit included improvements in the protection of the marine environment with regard to offshore oil and gas exploration (the mechanism to share best practices that had been established in the meantime was welcomed by the meeting) and support for low-carbon development strategies to foster green growth.

Los Cabos G20 Summit 2012

The Summit organised by Mexico in Los Cabos on 18/19 June 2012, only 7 months after the meeting in Cannes, did not yield many results. Hardly any progress was made in climate funding so that the report requested for this summit could not be submitted. Still, the G20 heads of state and government welcomed the results of the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban and demonstrated their determination to fully implement the decisions taken there. They also agreed to make the Green Climate Fund operational and paid tribute to efforts made in the field of supporting green growth. This topic will remain a priority on the G20 agenda.

St. Petersburg G20 Summit 2013

The G20 heads of state and government sent out a supportive signal from the most recent Summit in St. Petersburg on 5 and 6 September 2013 to the Climate Conference in Warsaw in November the same year. On the basis of the report finally submitted at the Summit by the G20 Study Group on Climate Finance, the heads of state and government furthermore renewed their request to the G20 finance ministers to continue the G20 work on climate funding and to submit a report to the next Climate Summit in Brisbane. As part of the policies on sustainable development and green growth the G20 intend to draw up policy recommendations on "clean" energy and energy efficiency. Moreover, nuclear safety was put on the agenda of a G20 meeting for the first time. The G20 emphasised that the use of nuclear power was inextricably linked to the responsibility for utmost nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation for states already using nuclear power and those starting to use it.

Brisbane G20 Summit 2014

On 1 December 2013 Australia assumed its one-year presidency of G20. The annual summit meeting is scheduled for 15/16 November 2014 in Brisbane.

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