The G20

A Planetary Emergency

Crisis brought together the most powerful governments from the countries with the largest economies in what would be known as the Group of Twenty or G20 in 2008, amidst the global financial meltdown of 2008.

Our planet faces an unprecedented and even darker crisis from which there is no turning back if radical actions are not taken immediately – global warming and climate change. And the G20 – as individual governments and as a group – must be held accountable for their contributions to this crisis and compelled to fulfill their obligations towards its solution.

The Fight Against Coal and Fossil Fuels

The burning of coal and other fossil fuels and the destruction of nature in a system of extraction and production that is primarily about growth and profit accumulation rather than peoples’ needs — this is the root cause of excessive and continuously increasing greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, which in turn is causing the climate crisis. The climate crisis has thus far claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions of people, and brought about extremely tragic devastation in many parts of the world. The seeds for the escalation of the crisis and ever-worsening impacts have already been and continue to be sown.

The solution requires the overhaul of this system – but it also requires immediate changes along the way if we are to prevent the climate crisis from reaching greater catastrophic levels, and keep global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius

One of these immediate changes is stopping the expansion of coal and fossil fuels and making a swift and just transition to 100% renewable and democratic energy systems as quickly as possible and no later than 2030 for rich, industrialized countries and 2050 for the rest of the world.

An Immediate Demand to the Group of Twenty (G20)

This coming June 28 and 29, the Group of Twenty or G20 will hold its annual Summit in Osaka, Japan.

As the forum of the world’s wealthiest nations, theG20 accounts for about two-thirds of the world’s population, represent more than 85% of the global GDP, and account for more than 80% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

This means G20 governments carry a huge part of the responsibility stop the global expansion of coal and fossil fuel industries and push for the swift and just transition to 100% renewable and democratic energy systems.

An immediate first step towards this is for all G20 governments to stop all public subsidies to coal and fossil fuels.

In the face of popular clamor for an end to public subsidies for coal and fossil fuels, the G20 at its Pittsburgh Summit of 2009 made a very weak pledge to “phaseout and rationalize over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies while providing targeted support for the poorest.” And the exact opposite happened

Between 2013 and 2015, the annual average public financing of fossil fuels by the G20 governments amounted to US$88 billion, according to the report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) “Empty promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production” This amount does not even include the contributions by the European Union. Of the US$88 billion, around $20 billion went to financing of coal fired power plants and coal mining; around US$68 billion to oil and gas; and, about US$2 billion to unspecified fossil fuels.

In 2016, G20 countries provided US$147 billion subsidies to coal, oil and gas. The study “Brown to Green”, by the global partnership Climate Transparency, found 82% of energy in these countries are still being provided by coal, oil and gas. This large share of fossil fuel energy is facilitated by an increase of about 50% in subsidies over the past 10 years to compete with increasingly cheap wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.

Sayonara Coal!

There must be a special spotlight on the host of the G20 Summit – JAPAN.

In taking the presidency of the G20, Japan said climate will figure prominently in the 2019 agenda. But Japan’s record in the public as well as private financing of coal and fossil fuels stands in stark contrast to this.

Japan is the biggest sources of public and private financing of coal and fossil fuels among all countries. In 2013-2015, Japan public subsidies to fossil fuels averaged US$19 billion and ranked highest among the G19 countries

The Japanese private financing of coal power and other fossil fuels around the world is even bigger. A recent report, Banking on Climate Change 2019, found Japan’s three largest banks – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Mizuho Financial Group, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC) – alone funneled US$186 billion into the global fossil fuel sector in the three years since the Paris Agreement was adopted at the end of 2015. Banking on Climate Change was written by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor the Earth.

We demand that the Japanese governments and Japanese private banks and corporations say goodbye to coal and fossil fuel financing.

Urgent Actions Needed

In the days leading up to the G20, we urge all movements, peoples organizations and communities in Asia and around the world to:

  • Organizing and/or joining actions calling on G20 governments to end all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 and demanding Japan to stop funding coal; and
  • Using social media, print and broadcast media to raise public awareness and generate support for these calls and demands.

Our Demands:

G20 governments and Japan

  • End ALL public subsidies for coal and fossil fuels immediately.
  • Stop the expansion of coal and fossil fuels.
  • Rapidly phase out existing coal and fossil fuels energy.
  • Swift and just transition to 100% Renewable and Democratic Energy.

The planet cannot afford further delays in the fulfillment of your obligations to people and planet.

The official summit website

G20 Leaders Says Paris Agreement is Irreversible

“Empty promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production”

G20 Brown to Green Report 2018

Banking on Climate Change