Center for American Progress

RELEASE: The G-20 Can Help Preserve Global Effort to Combat Climate Change
Press Release

RELEASE: The G-20 Can Help Preserve Global Effort to Combat Climate Change

Washington, D.C. — President-elect Donald Trump has proposed a number of actions that would work to undermine international efforts on climate change. In light of this, the G-20 summit in July 2017 provides an important opportunity for major powers to protect progress in meeting the global climate challenge.

The Center for American Progress and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung North America released a report outlining opportunities for the G-20 to promote climate-compatible infrastructure, which would allow the forum to make progress on several key objectives, including mitigation of greenhouse gas pollution. This report offers a deeper dive into topics explored in a column on December 8.

“With the G-20 this year under the German presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel had the opportunity to structure the agenda in a way that explicitly forces a discussion of climate change at a time of both great potential for international cooperation but also of tremendous risk—and she has done just that,” said Pete Ogden, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

“The G-20 is well positioned to become a leader on climate-compatible infrastructure,” said Gwynne Taraska, Associate Director of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress. “Ensuring that infrastructure projects are low-carbon and climate-resilient is essential for global economic stability, which is the founding purpose of the forum.”

The report analyzes the G-20’s traditional approach to infrastructure—which undermines sustainable development and economic resilience—and presents opportunities to promote climate-compatible infrastructure, including through climate risk disclosure, fossil fuel subsidy reform, national growth plans, and climate-related risk insurance.

As “responsibility” is a key thematic area of the German presidency, the report also discusses socially responsible infrastructure more broadly.

“The dominant narrative on mobilizing infrastructure finance downplays that citizens, as ultimate financiers and guarantors, deserve safe and affordable infrastructure services,” said Nancy Alexander, Director of the Economic Governance Program at Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung North America. “Citizens and the generations to follow should not inherit large economic, social, or environmental burdens. We already saw that happen with the reckless lending of petrodollars in the 1970s and 1980s that created ‘lost development decades.’”

Click here to read the report.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.