Energy, Resource Efficiency & Sustainability

The Argentina B20 Energy, Resource Efficiency and Sustainability (ERES) Taskforce wishes to commit the global business community and the G20 leaders to pursue accelerated transitions towards a low carbon, sustainable and equitable energy future as mandated by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). B20 leaders call for decisive action against climate change and the provision of actionable roadmaps aimed at the accelerated reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. B20 acknowledges that for signatory Governments, the Paris Agreement provides an international legal framework capable of ensuring local and regional paths to fight climate change at a global scale.

To accomplish this goal, the B20 ERES task force is determined to cooperate with the G20 leaders to overcome present challenges. In 2017, global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 1.4 percent, reaching a historic peak of 32.5 gigatons, while energy efficiency improvements slowed down. Resource efficiency still falls behind in the leaders’ agenda, hampering necessary transformations from linear to circular economies. Over 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to energy, 2.8 billion are in need of clean cooking solutions, and climate adaptation policies only account for 7 percent of climate impact investments. Worldwide consistent strategies to cope with the irreversible consequences of climate change need further conscious cooperation. Argentina B20 ERES Taskforce acknowledges the opportunity to deliver consistent strategies and policies at global, regional and national levels to mitigate the actions and consequences of climate change.

Building upon the previous B20s commendable efforts, the ERES Task Force recognizes that a clean and efficient energy future will entail the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources complemented by cleaner energy sources namely: natural gas, cleaner liquid fuels, biofuels, hydrogen, nuclear and energy efficiency initiatives. Region-centered roadmaps will guide energy transitions according to distinct resource availability and capabilities.

The B20 Argentina asks the G20 to accelerate energy transitions to a low carbon future, advising on human-centered development and scaled financial support, while enabling political and regulatory environment, high commitment to Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D), and improved institutional capacity[PI1] . In favor of sustainable energy transitions the B20 ERES task force encourages the G20 leaders to pursue the following five actionable recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: Accelerate transitions to a low carbon future – The G20 should act decisively on mitigation strategies, favoring the substitution of high carbon fossil fuels for low carbon, renewable sustainable and cleaner energy sources. 

Firstly, we advise G20 leaders on the importance of strengthening national policies that augment the capacity of countries to implement energy transitions while meeting growing energy demands. We support developing roadmaps for energy transitions, respecting national specificities; scaling financial solutions to enable roadmap execution; promoting flexible regulatory environments and fostering just transitions. Secondly, we prompt the G20 to encourage accelerated research, development and deployment of renewable energies and cleaner sources, enhancing grid electrification, re-electrification, digitalization and storage technologies; fortifying carbon capture, usage and storage; and developing interconnections and international trade.

Recommendation 2: Increase coverage and impact of energy efficiency policies – The G20 should foster the expansion of energy efficiency policies, advancing standard-setting in energy and utility companies, businesses, households and transportation systems.

Firstly, we encourage the G20 leaders to commit to appropriate energy efficiency policies within energy and utility companies and across industries´ value chains. This includes promoting policies for rewarding energy waste reduction and reinforcing the discussion on an intergovernmental carbon pricing platform. Secondly, we advocate for efficient policies and practices for buildings and households, implementing time-dependent pricing and smart meters; and mandating sustainable building design. Thirdly, we recommend the development of sustainable and efficient mobility systems setting standards for ground transportation.

Recommendation 3: Ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy – The G20 should support the global expansion of energy access through on-grid, off-grid and clean cooking solutions for underserved communities striving to minimize the energy access gap.

Firstly, we encourage G20 leaders to promote rapidly implementable transition solutions to reach SDG7, facing the challenges of each alternative, such as densification and expansion of on-grid solutions for urbanizations and decentralization and off-grid solutions for rural communities, while systematically prioritizing the provision of clean cooking solutions. Secondly, we encourage and support the G20 to assist countries in public policy planning and in promoting sustainable business models to reach underserved communities.

Recommendation 4: Promote resource efficiency and circular economies – The G20 should promote policies and incentives for the adoption of circular business models to finally decouple economic growth from environmental issues.

Firstly, G20 governments should promote knowledge and capacity to facilitate and regulate circular economy development, enabling public and private sector cooperation to identify practical opportunities in: resource recovery, product life extension, circular design, shared platforms. Secondly, we prompt G20 leaders to develop metrics and methods to track and efficiently promote circular activities in the private sector, enhancing reuse, recycling and upscaling, while strengthening competitiveness and innovation.

Recommendation 5: Expand climate change adaptation policies – The G20 must improve climate-resilience plans, evaluation and funding of adaptation policies.

Firstly, we recommend G20 leaders to enhance the ability to assess and predict the impacts of climate change on infrastructure, production and business operations through climate modeling and forecasting tools, emergency response and disaster recovery plans. Secondly, we call for innovative technological integration of climate models and risk assessment into development policies and plans, supported by financial mechanisms to close the investment gaps in adaptation.

Finally, we firmly believe that the achievement of a sustainable energy future requires a platform for international cooperation guiding and supporting the different transition paths that countries are implementing. Such a platform needs to facilitate and coordinate evidence-based policy making and accelerate actionable practices towards a low carbon future.

We trust that, through enhanced international cooperation and the implementation of the recommended actions, the G20 leaders hold a unique opportunity to advance in the fulfillment of the Paris Agenda and the SDGs, delivering the promise of a shared and sustainable prosperity within a low carbon and equitable global economy.