Center for American Progress

RELEASE: The G-20 Can Help Prevent Backsliding on the Global Climate Effort
Press Release

RELEASE: The G-20 Can Help Prevent Backsliding on the Global Climate Effort

Washington, D.C. — When high-level representatives from the world’s G-20 countries convene in Munich next week to plan for the annual summit in July 2017, climate change will be a fraught topic of conversation. Faced with the prospect of a Trump administration that could work to undermine the progress made over the past few years, countries must grapple with what role the G-20, under the German presidency, can play to halt backsliding and even to make some progress in meeting the global climate challenge.

The Center for American Progress and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung North America released a column outlining opportunities for the G-20 to promote climate-compatible infrastructure, which would allow the forum to make progress on several of its objectives, including economic prosperity.

“Germany assumed the G-20 presidency this month and, to its credit, is very deliberately positioning itself to help prevent international progress on climate change from slowing or reversing,” said Pete Ogden, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “When Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her objectives for the summit, she explicitly identified climate change as a priority.”

“Infrastructure projects that are high-carbon or vulnerable to the physical effects of climate change can have a destabilizing effect on the global economy,” said Gwynne Taraska, Associate Director of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress.

“This column debunks the myth that infrastructure can deliver growth without respecting planetary boundaries or the rights of affected communities,” said Nancy Alexander, Director of the Economic Governance Program at Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung North America. “These are interdependent goals.”

Focusing on climate-compatible infrastructure would be a step forward for the G-20. The forum has expanded its infrastructure initiatives in recent years, but the climate and infrastructure workstreams have been largely siloed.

Click here to read the column.

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