Special Feature on G7 & G20 in 2021

The year 2021 will be a milestone for accelerating international efforts on various environmental issues, including climate change and biodiversity: The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is scheduled to be held in China, and the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom in November.
 
Prior to these important international events, the G7 Climate and Environment Ministers' Meeting will be held on 20-21 May, and the G7 Summit will be held from 11-13 June under the UK presidency. With the U.S. making a major shift toward stronger climate change measures under President Biden, to what extent can the G7 members build political momentum for COP26? What will be the outcomes of the discussions on key issues such as biodiversity loss, marine plastic litter, social aspects of environmental challenges, and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which have been continuously discussed along with climate change in the G7 environment track?
 
After the G7 Summit, the G20 Environment and Climate and Energy Ministers' Meeting will be held in July under the presidency of Italy, the host for pre-COP26. The G20 includes the host of the COP15 on biodiversity, China, along with other developing countries and G7 members. What will they discuss, and what will result from the G20 meetings? 

The G7 stands for Group of 7, an intergovernmental organization whose members are seven industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., the U.S.). In 2021, India, South Africa, South Korea, and Australia will participate as guest countries. The presidency rotates among the member countries, and the 2022 presidency will be held by Germany. Japan held the presidency in 2016, and will chair again in 2023.

The G7 and G20 are both well known for summit-level meetings, but there are also discussions on specific issues throughout the year. For example, this year's G7, held under the presidency of the U.K., will bring together the Ministers of Trade, Home Affairs, Health, Foreign Affairs and Development, Climate and Environment, Digital Technology, and Finance, respectively. The priorities and intentions of the presidency are strongly reflected in which ministerial meetings are held and what is discussed at the G7 and G20 meetings that year.

Engagement groups also exist as a mechanism for stakeholders to make recommendations and contributions to the themes discussed at the G7 and G20. For example, at this year's G7 there are six Engagement Groups consisting of representatives from national organizations: B7 (Business 7), C7 (Civil Society 7), L7 (Labour 7), S7 (Science 7), W7 (Women 7), and Y7 (Youth 7).

Looking back at the outcomes of recent G7 and G20 meetings on environmental issues, we can see that topics such as (1) climate change and energy, (2) resource recycling and marine plastic litter, (3) biodiversity, and (4) social aspects of environmental challenges continue to be discussed. Environmentally sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic was also addressed at the 2020 G20 Environment Ministers' Meeting, which was held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The G7 is often used as an opportunity for developed countries to set an example for the rest of the world by taking a united and ambitious approach to solving problems, while the G20 can be an opportunity for developed and emerging countries to work together to build momentum for international efforts and consensus building.


IGES-Related Events

IGES is planning to hold a webinar after the Climate and Environment Ministers' Meeting on 20 and 21 May 2021. The details will be announced here soon.


Expert Views

Under the U.K. presidency, the Climate and Environment Track, jointly led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will focus on six policy priorities:

  • a net zero G7 by 2050 at the latest
  • supporting the transition to a low carbon economy
  • resetting our relationship with nature
  • driving action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss
  • ocean action
  • tackling illicit threats to nature

Climate and Environment Ministers met virtually on 20 and 21 May 2021, and an IGES Commentary on this gathering will be released here soon.

The G20 is an intergovernmental organization whose members include the G7 members, in addition to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, the EU, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. The presidency of the G20 rotates among the member countries. The G20 was established in 1999 in response to the Asian currency crisis of 1997, when the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meeting was held. Since then it has continued to focus on economic and financial issues, but in recent years also included discussions and initiatives in other areas. For example, in 2019, Japan, when holding the G20 presidency, organized the "Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transition and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth”. This was the first time that the G20 environment ministers met together, and since then their meetings have been a regular part of subsequent presidencies.

The G7 and G20 are both well known for summit-level meetings, but there are also discussions on specific issues throughout the year. For example, this year's G7, held under the presidency of the U.K., will bring together the Ministers of Tourism, Labour and Education, Foreign Affairs and Development, Economy and Finance, Environment, Climate and Energy, Culture, Innovation and Research, Health, Agriculture, Trade, respectively. The priorities and intentions of the presidency are strongly reflected in which ministerial meetings are held and what is discussed at the G7 and G20 meetings that year.

Engagement groups also exist as a mechanism for stakeholders to make recommendations and contributions to the themes discussed at the G7 and G20. For example, at this year's G20 there are six Engagement Groups consisting of representatives from national organizations: B20 (Business 20), C20 (Civil 20), L20 (Labour 20), S20 (Science 20), T20 (Think 20), U20 (Urban 20), W20 (Women 20), and Y20 (Youth 20).

Looking back at the outcomes of recent G7 and G20 meetings on environmental issues, we can see that topics such as (1) climate change and energy, (2) resource recycling and marine plastic litter, (3) biodiversity, and (4) social aspects of environmental challenges continue to be discussed. Environmentally sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic was also addressed at the 2020 G20 Environment Ministers' Meeting, which was held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The G7 is often used as an opportunity for developed countries to set an example for the rest of the world by taking a united and ambitious approach to solving problems, while the G20 can be an opportunity for developed and emerging countries to work together to build momentum for international efforts and consensus building.


IGES-Related Events

IGES is planning to hold a webinar after the Environment, Climate and Energy Ministers' Meeting on 22 and 23 July 2021. The details will be announced here soon.


Expert Views

Under Italian presidency, the preparatory meetings were held for the Environment Ministers’ Meeting. The first meeting was held on 24 March and the second meeting was held on 28 April. Discussions for the Environment Ministers' Meeting in July will focus on climate change as well as concepts such as biodiversity protection and environmental conservation.

In addition, the Energy Transitions Working Group (ETWG)* and the Climate Sustainability Working Group (CSWG)** took place on 22-23 March and 26-27 April 2021. The members discussed the need to accelerate the clean energy transition aimed at combating climate change, while committing to advances towards:

  • resilient, smart and sustainable cities (1st Meeting: 22-23 March)
  • sustainable recovery and innovation (2nd Meeting: 26-27 April)
  • green finance and inclusiveness (3rd Meeting: 26-27 May)
  • working group for the ministerial meeting (4th Meeting: 20-21 July)
  • Climate and Environment Ministers Meeting

Based on the discussions above, an IGES Commentary will be released here soon.

*The ETWG focuses on sustainable urban futures, smart grids, and innovative clean technologies. It explores issues of efficiency and circularity as key elements for a sustainable, people-centered recovery that takes care of the planet and the environment. Universal access to energy and the eradication of energy poverty are also recognized as important issues.

**The CSWG is focused on defining a new comprehensive and resilient model where sustainable recovery from COVID-19 provides an opportunity to accelerate energy transition, green economy and environmental sustainability. In order to achieve this goal, consideration is being given to leveraging not only national public resources, but also a progressively coordinated global funding stream to support the goals of the Paris Agreement. Climate change adaptation, resilience, and nature-based solutions are also recognized as central elements of this approach.

関連出版物

他機関出版物の翻訳
著者:
London School of Economics and Political Science

本版はLondon School of Economics and Political Scienceが2021年5月10日に発表した「G7 leadership for sustainable, resilient and inclusive economic recovery and growth - summary report」の公益財団法人地球環境戦略研究機関(IGES)による暫定非公式訳である。2021年6月11日から13日までコーンウォールのカービスベイで開催されるG7サミットは、21 世紀の成長と雇用の実現や、環境の持続可能性を確保するために、G7が「より良い復興」のために大胆な行動をとるユニークな機会を提供する。 本報告書の第1部では、世界が直面している課題と機会について、第2部では共有のビジョンと戦略について、第3部では行動のための優先事項がまとめられている。

 

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