Climate Group urges G20 to set timelines for fossil fuel phase-outs and a just transition

The call comes as G20 countries gather in New Delhi this week

The Climate Group had today called out the G20 for failing to implement clear and bold policies that unlock new ways to promote clean energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and respond to the climate crisis.

Accounting for 85% of global GDP, the G20 has the scale and the means to spur global decarbonisation. However, the Climate Group warns that less than half of G20 nations have net-zero laws in place, while just one has a plan to switch to 100% renewables by 2035.

In response, the Climate Group is calling for the G20 to set targets and timelines to phase out all unabated fossil fuels in line with 1.5C pathways, supported by national plans and policies to ensure a just transition for affected workers and communities.

G20 nations are slowing progress on reaching the Paris Agreement after providing $693bn of fossil fuel support in 2021, the highest levels recorded since 2014.

The NGO is also calling for the G20 to deliver a 100% decarbonised power grid by 2035 for advanced economies, and 2040 for others, as per the IEA’s Net Zero 2050 scenario.

The COP28 presidency adopted several of the IEA’s recommendations as key aims, including a doubling of energy efficiency improvement rates and a trebling of renewable energy capacity. The IEA recommends these milestones are met by 2030.  However, G20 ministers have failed to agree on renewables and fossil fuels plans ahead of the summit.

The call comes as G20 countries gather in New Delhi this week.

The Climate Group’s executive director of government policies Champa Patel said: “Countries across the G20 risk missing out on the gold rush of the 21st century as they slow walk towards greater renewable electricity. Hundreds of major companies we work with are already moving towards using 100% renewable electricity, with many also requiring it from their suppliers. If corporate giants are demanding it, jumping on the transition is about business survival, and governments need to facilitate that.”

“Businesses need government action and long-term policy clarity to confidently go all-in on climate action. Governments that fail to provide that are forcing their economies to rely on fossil fuel-based systems that will become increasingly obsolete.”

Last week, the Climate Group and the We Mean Business Coalition called on the G20 to adopt credible targets and consistent policies for rapid decarbonisation of the private sector, facilitating a clean transition aligned with 1.5C targets.

Companies that have endorsed the call include Chalet Hotels, Infosys, Ultratech, JSW Group, Zomato, Citylink, Godrej and Boyce, Tech Mahindra, Godrej Industries, Wipro, ReNew, Sun Renewables, Heineken and IKEA India.

More recently, CDP noted that G20 nations have “limited to no policies” in place for nature-related corporate disclosure, despite agreeing to a commitment for companies to start disclosing such data at COP15 late last year.

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