The G20 leaders standing for their 'family photo'

The G20 Summit in London has now concluded, with US President Obama filling the main press briefing room for an hour-long press session.  The main points of the summit for international and national climate policy are summarised below:

  1. Overall: In the substantive elements of the summit outcomes there is little mention of climate change.  In the summary communiqué climate change is mentioned in the second-to-last and penultimate paragraphs only.  As Climatico’s Simon Billett asked UK Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, there is little evidence that this summit has been more than an agreement to agree in later meetings.
  2. Forestry: UK Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, said that forestry was a fundamental element of the global climate programme.  Italy has agreed to hold specific discussions on it at the G8 in July 2009.  There was agreement from France, Australia, Italy, Germany, US on the need for a global forestry deal.  Forestry was a major point of discussion in the corridors between delegations.
  3. USA Climate Policy: It remains unclear whether the Obama administration will require cuts from China and India for a ‘comprehensive’ COP15 deal.  Obama said that “further discussions” needed with China, and that the US recognises its role as leader of clean energy and tech for China and India.  Obama: “We need an interesting conversation on how to overcome this challenge… we need low carbon growth… a rapid deployment of technology across the world… the US needs to lead these countries into the low carbon energy future”.
  4. Green Growth: The summit has done little to define green growth or encourage the use of best practice measures between G20 countries.  While para. 27 and 28 of the final communiqué do reaffirm the commitment to low carbon growth, the summit has done almost nothing to further definitions of what this might mean or how it should be achieved.
The next G20 summit is scheduled for September in Washington D.C., while the Group of 8 meet in Italy in July.
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