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G-20 leaders reach deal on trade, struggle on climate

09 Juillet 2017

Jerry Brown plans to convene a climate conference next year, his latest action to position the state as a leader in battling global warming as the White House recedes.

Climate change has become one of the biggest issues at stake during the Group of 20 summit, after President Donald Trump last month chose to pull the USA out of the 2015 Paris deal that promised to keep global warming "well below" 2 degrees Celsius. "I believe that California, New York, France and Germany and the other countries - we have to get our act together, strengthen our commitment and bring as many nations along as we can".

Each year, G20 countries provide almost four times more public finance to fossil fuels than to clean energy, according to a new report released today by Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth U.S., the Sierra Club and WWF European Policy Office.

In his remarks on June 1, Trump said that "in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord" and "begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris Accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers".

A new report reveals that public financing by wealthiest governments belies stated commitments to Paris climate goals. This helps to reduce the prevailing sense of injustice, which otherwise would scupper all efforts to coordinate the worldwide carbon cuts necessary to address climate change successfully. Are you concerned about the changing climate and how it may affect your community?

Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive, The Climate Group, which acts as secretariat to the Coalition, added: "States and regions globally have a critical role in delivering the policies and investments needed to implement the Paris Agreement".

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Cristina Figueres, a former top United Nations official who was in charge of negotiations on the Paris agreement, introduced Brown at the Global Citizen concert as a "climate optimist".

They noted that concerns over job losses and lower standards due to global trade - which have prompted US President Donald Trump to take a protectionist stance - should be tackled by "bolstering an open and fair rules-based multilateral trading system".

"A summit like that takes on even more importance because", said Figueres, "it has become even more crucial for the United States to see evidence of the fact that the USA economy continues to decarbonize".

The Brown to Green report says that the G20 countries are using energy more efficiently and increasing their use of cleaner energy sources, but power consumption has grown in tandem with the economies.

"The Paris agreement should lead policymakers to refocus public finance on energy savings and sustainable renewable energy, which actually offer effective solutions to our future energy challenges", Sebastien Godinot with the WWF European Policy Office said. Nine other states and Puerto Rico have since joined that coalition.

G-20 leaders reach deal on trade, struggle on climate