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G20 nations pledge to ensure energy and food security, battle climate change


Uninterrupted flows of affordable energy a priority

Risk of volatility in food, energy markets remain

Urgent need to accelerate sustainable development goals

  • Author
  • Sambit Mohanty    Ratnajyoti Dutta
  • Editor
  • Norazlina Jumaat
  • Commodity
  • Agriculture Energy Transition
  • Topic
  • Biofuels and Energy Road to COP28 Energy Transition Food Security

Leaders of the G20 group of nations pledged to work together to ensure uninterrupted flows of energy at affordable prices at a time when rising food and fuel costs are putting increasing pressure on living conditions, a joint declaration by the countries showed.

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The statement, which came at the end of the Sept. 9-10 weekend meeting in New Delhi, added that pursuing energy transition in an equitable manner would help to improve jobs, livelihoods and strengthen economic resilience.

"We emphasize the importance of maintaining uninterrupted flows of energy from various sources, suppliers and routes, exploring paths of enhanced energy security and market stability, including through inclusive investments to meet the growing energy demand, in line with our sustainable development and climate goals, while promoting open, competitive, non-discriminatory and free international energy markets," the statement showed.

While global food and energy prices had fallen from their peaks, the potential for high levels of volatility in food and energy markets remains, given the uncertainties in the global economy.

"Global economic growth is below its long-run average and remains uneven. The uncertainty around the outlook remains high. With notable tightening in global financial conditions, which could worsen debt vulnerabilities, persistent inflation and geo-economic tensions, the balance of risks remains tilted to the downside," the statement showed.

The members said they were committed to urgently accelerate their actions to address environmental crises and challenges on climate change.

"We affirm that no country should have to choose between fighting poverty and fighting for our planet. We will pursue development models that implement sustainable, inclusive and just transitions globally, while leaving no one behind," the statement added.

Member nations also supported the acceleration of production, utilization, as well as development of transparent and resilient global markets for hydrogen produced from zero and low-emission technologies and its derivatives such as ammonia.

Efforts on renewable energy

"We will pursue and encourage efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally through existing targets and policies, as well as demonstrate similar ambition with respect to other zero and low-emission technologies, including abatement and removal technologies, in line with national circumstances by 2030," the statement showed.

Member countries noted the need for $5.8 trillion-$5.9 trillion in the pre-2030 period for developing countries, particularly for their needs to implement their NDCs, as well as the need of $4 trillion/year for clean energy technologies by 2030 in order to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

"We recall and reaffirm the commitment made in 2010 by the developed countries to the goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion climate finance per year by 2020, and annually through 2025, to address the needs of the developing countries, in the context of meaningful mitigation action and transparency in implementation," the statement showed.

"We will work to successfully implement the decision at COP27 on funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage for assisting developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including establishing a fund," it added.

Member countries highlighted the human suffering and negative added impacts of the war in Ukraine with regard to global food and energy security, supply chains, macro-financial stability, inflation and growth, which had complicated the policy environment. In addition, the economic disruption derailed progress towards sustainable development goals.

"At the midway point to 2030, the global progress on SDGs is off-track with only 12% of the targets on track. During this Decade of Action, we will leverage the G20's convening power and its collective resolve to fully and effectively implement the 2030 Agenda and accelerate progress toward the SDGs, in a timely manner, to shape the world we want to see for our future generations," it added.

G20 members expressed concern that global ambition and implementation to address climate change remain insufficient to achieve the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

"We reiterate our resolve to pursue further efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degree Celsius. This will require meaningful and effective actions and commitment by all countries, taking into account different approaches, through the development of clear national pathways that align long term ambition with short and medium-term goals," the statement showed.

Food security a key priority

The G20 members appreciated the efforts of Turkey and UN-brokered Istanbul Agreements between the Russian Federation and the Secretariat of the UN on promoting Russian food products and fertilizers to world markets. They appreciated the call for their full, timely and effective implementation to ensure the immediate and unimpeded deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers from the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

"This is necessary to meet the demand in developing and least developed countries, particularly those in Africa. In this context, emphasizing the importance of sustaining food and energy security, we called for the cessation of military destruction or other attacks on relevant infrastructure," the statement said.

The nations pledged to enhance global food security and nutrition for all.

"To achieve this, we encourage efforts to strengthen research cooperation on climate-resilient and nutritious grains such as millets, quinoa, sorghum, and other traditional crops including rice, wheat and maize," the statement said.

The member nations also committed to accelerate innovation and investment focused on increasing agricultural productivity, reducing food loss and waste across the value chain, and improving marketing and storage, to build more sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture and food systems.

"We commit to facilitate open, fair, predictable, and rules-based agriculture, food and fertilizer trade, not impose export prohibitions or restrictions and reduce market distortions, in accordance with relevant WTO rules," it added.