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20 on the G20

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The London Summit is an historic opportunity for developed and developing countries to begin to make a fundamental shift in the way they produce and use energy. This must be a priority issue. Countries around the world are making more than US$2 trillion in new investments in an effort to recover from the global recession, and this spending must move us all towards a low-carbon future. The chance to align public expenditures of this magnitude will simply not present itself again for decades.

The transformation of the United States to a low-carbon economy is necessary to meet the climate change challenge, but it is not sufficient. A truly global strategy is needed to reduce carbon emissions and to green the economies of the rapidly developing world.

As part of this effort, the G20 must also ensure that the energy needs of the poorest countries are addressed. More than two billion people lack regular access to modern energy services, and 1.6 billion do not have electricity at home. Lack of access to clean, reliable, affordable energy increases health risks and early mortality, and impedes economic development.

The world’s poorest countries have a right to development in a carbon-constrained world, and, as the primary contributors to global warming pollution, the wealthiest nations have a responsibility to assist in this development.

Read more here.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org