G20 and the climate agenda

It is public knowledge that the Argentine Republic will have the presidency of the G20 during the year 2018, serving as a bridge between Germany and Japan. The G20 is the group of the 20 largest economies in the world, accounting for 85% of the Global Gross Product, 80% of international trade and ⅔ of the world’s population.

In itself, this group makes important decisions about the world economy and international finance. It emerged in 1999 as a response to major crises such as Tequila (1994), Asia (1997), Vodka (1998). Until 2012, it had a very focused agenda on the international monetary system but it has now been extended to issues such as employment, food security and the climate crisis.

During this COP23 there was no lack of opportunity, during the various side events that have been organized and that have had Argentinian speakers, to ask about the country’s position in relation to this. From the various presentations of the Argentine delegation, it can be pointed out that although the agenda is still in construction, three thematic points could be highlighted:

1. Adaptation: focusing on impacts and vulnerabilities and the construction of resilient infrastructure. 2. Employment: in terms of its growth due to the exploration and opening of new markets, as well as its potential decrease due to losses and damages caused by climate change. 3. Education: as a transversal policy to all the agenda.
These aspects have been strategically chosen to address issues related to vulnerability and social debt that exists in the Latin American region, which is one of the most affected by climate change.

In relation to this and in the representation of President Mauricio Macri, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina, Sergio Bergman, mentioned today in the Joint High Level Segment, that “the discussions are technical but the debate is ethical, we are speaking about something can not be discussed in terms of the market, it has no price, it has an inestimable value, which is the life and dignity of all human beings”.
Beyond the statement that results from the G20, this presidency is focused on continuing to address the low emission policy, and then analyze when, how and at what cost will be carried forward.

Although Argentina has made it clear that it does not share the position of the president of the United States and that it is not willing to renegotiate the Paris Agreement, it takes the challenge in G20 presidency to address and conceptualize a work agenda that manages to address the climate crisis keeping all countries on board.

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