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“Energy Sustainability” is high on the agenda for the G-20 meeting in Antalya, Turkey, next week. In practice, this means the governments of the world’s leading economies will pledge to continue the laudable goals of phasing out inefficient subsides and boosting energy efficiency. But the meatier agenda is two wonkier research items. According to the Turkish presidency priorities communiqué (PDF), the G-20 will “study the reasons behind the high cost of renewable energy investment and examine the deployment of public and private resources to fulfill the need for energy investment.”
I’m clearly not much of a prognosticator. In highlighting, with skepticism, the World Bank’s new Global Infrastructure Facility as a major G-20 Brisbane outcome on infrastructure, I missed far more of the actual agenda than I should have.
Update November 17: As expected, the United States and Japan announced their pledges of $3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively, to the Green Climate Fund at the G-20 summit in Australia. The United Kingdom is set to announce a £650 million ($1 billion pledge) in Berlin later this week and Canada said it will contribute, although it did not announce how much. Together with pledges from 11 other countries, total pledges amount to $7.5 billion, getting close to the $10 billion target for beginning operations of the Green Climate Fund. Pledges are also expected from Australia (despite the step-back from climate action by the new government), Italy, Norway, and Spain. The agreement reached by the Green Climate Fund board a few weeks ago, which approved a logical framework for REDD+, may spur Norway to pledge given it lays the groundwork for GCF support to forests.
Last years’ G-20 and G-8 meetings produced important commitments to bolster tax systems and to fight corruption. The upcoming G-20 meeting in Brisbane will show just how serious member countries are about delivering on them.
Clare Walsh, a senior official in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the chair of the Development Working Group of the G-20, recently visited CGD for a round-table discussion with CGD senior staff. Afterwards I hosted her and CGD senior associate, Scott Morris, a former senior US Treasury official, on the Wonkcast.