F20 Statement on the Petersberg Climate Dialogue 2020

“Making our societies more climate resilient must be the guiding principle for any future recovery plan responding to the global COVID-19 crisis.” (Klaus Milke, F20 Chair)

It is a good sign that this goal has been subject of many statements and contributions at this year’s Petersberg Climate Dialogue including those of ministers, heads of state and the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres.

There is indeed no simple going back to the old normal. If we want to cope with massive impacts on our global and local economies, economic stimulus packages must be based on the premises of sustainability and incentivise higher ambition for climate action. The G20 countries have to take the lead as they contribute with some 80% to global emissions.

The global corona crisis offers the opportunity to turn the switches towards a sustainable transformation or the basis for future crisis due to immense environmental pollution, distinction of biodiversity leading to grave impacts on the global food production, water shortage, energy crisis, extreme weather events or everything combined.

The German chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised in her speech that biodiversity and climate are key and should be linked and addressed together. Green recovery plans should be aiming at increasing the climate resilience of our societies and also need to lay the basis for ambitious climate action and safeguarding global biodiversity. This would entail reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net zero emissions; implementing a just transition and creating high quality jobs; cutting pollution and investing in adaptation against worsening climate impacts; phasing out direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies at a time of historically low oil prices; catalysing the growth of green industries and incentivizing private sector investment in low carbon sectors; investing in the protection and restoration of ecosystems, sustainable agriculture and food systems.

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