G20 Summit 2011

The G20 is a group unites the top political figures from world's 20 biggest economies, representing roughly 90% of world GDP. The group focuses on discussing some of the major global challenges. WWF works to influence the group that solutions must come not only for the financial markets, but also for environmental topics such as food, water and energy.
The devastating famine in the Horn of Africa is an example that the poorest people are also the most vulnerable to the current and future impacts of extreme weather events.

But innovative solutions do exist, if only governments would seize them. These solutions address the twin crises of economy and environment. They also generate much needed public revenue that could fund the transition towards efficient, low-carbon and climate resilient economies, while returning human beings to the centre of our economic system.

Deep crises facing the global economy and environment require new and innovative solutions. Such solutions exist, but the leadership has been lacking. If they reach agreement in Cannes on Financial Transaction Taxes, aviation and maritime bunker fuels, and fossil fuel subsidies reform, G20 leaders will seize the moment.

What's happening?
The G20 is an increasingly important group of world leaders representing more than three quarters of the world's biggest economies.

What's the opportunity?
Once a year, the G20 heads of state meet and make decisions that directly affect some of our the most important environmental issues on the world today. We can and must help influence the process so that these leading economies start making the right choices when it comes to sustainable development.

What can we do about it?
We can help influence decision-makers so that leading economies start making the right choices when it comes to truly sustainable development. WWF has offices in 18 of the G20 capitals and all of our network will be working locally and internationally to ask our leaders to pay special attention to sustainability.

What exactly do we want G20 leaders to pay attention to:

  • Create innovative sources of finance
    The G20 has a key role to play in reaching political agreement among major economies on how to scale up financing for developing countries to address global issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty reduction. 
     
  • Fossil fuel subsidies and energy
    Fossil fuel subsidies are:
    • very costly;
    • significantly increase global and local pollution;
    • benefit only the wealthiest.

    Why not redirect the money spent on dirty energy to fund clean energy access for low-income households, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and trigger significant investments in renewable energy?
     
  • Green economy
    The 2008 financial crisis has demonstrated how the misallocation of capital can have devastating impacts. Yet today, we are treating the world’s natural capital in a similarly dangerous way. 

    We need to make make finance and conservation work together so that we can tap into the immense potential of green, sustainable growth and development. 

    The G20 can, for example, encourage the adoption of "environmental accounting" so that a company's balance sheet may also reflect new data such as environmental risk, potential to induce climate change or loss of ecosystems.

Unleash the green economy!

By setting up a tax on financial transactions and an innovative finance mechanism in the maritime and aviation sectors, the G20 has the opportunity to unlock the potential of massive investments in green jobs and innovative solutions towards a sustainable economy.

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