Los Cabos, Mexico – Global leaders need to look well beyond the “bail-out” paradigm and short-term economic interventions they backed today at the G-20 Summit and instead create the long-term, sustainable solutions the world so desperately needs.
“We are encouraged by Mexico’s promotion of inclusive green growth as the backbone of a longer-term agenda for G-20. However, we are tremendously disappointed at the vague language that predominates the G-20’s final statement released this evening” said Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director Conservation, WWF International.
“Unfortunately, the lack of a significant pledge by world leaders at the G-20 on sustainability does not bode well for Rio+20, which is already falling apart and could have benefited from strong action in Los Cabos.”
Many G20 leaders will fly directly to Rio de Janeiro where they will have the opportunity to strengthen the commitments their negotiators have made thus far in the Rio+20 process.
“Twenty years ago leaders inspired the world. Now they need to be fearless in the face of this crisis,” Gustavsson said.
WWF came to this years’ G-20 Summit with two specific asks:
1) End fossil fuels subsidies
Three years ago at the Pittsburgh G20, Heads of State pledged to reform fossil fuels subsidies for the first time. Since then there has been little progress and no concrete action on the issue.
2) Mobilise finance for climate change and sustainable development
WWF asked G20 leaders to affirm pledges and innovative sources for sustainable development, including climate change finance. In these difficult economic times, countries need to agree to mobilise financing through innovative mechanisms such as carbon pricing in international shipping and aviation and financial transaction taxes.
“WWF is encouraged to see an acknowledgement to structurally transform economies to become low carbon, the creation of the study group on climate finance and the welcoming of the OECD/UN/World Bank report on green growth and structural reforms. We were also encouraged to see a new focus on clean energy with a focus on renewable energies and an accountability approach to fossil fuels”, said Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, WWF-Mexico Climate Director.
“However, there are no clear commitments and targets on any of these fronts. While recognizing the voluntary nature of the forum, the forum needs to set benchmarks to be able to show any substantial and long-lasting contribution to solving the most serious financial, economic and environmental crisis of our time”, Pérez-Cirera concluded.
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