G20 on Climate, clean energy and CCS.


By Tim Dixon

13 July 2017

 There was much news coverage of the G20 meeting and the positions that the US President was likely to take. The end result was a media focus on climate change differences, noting the G20 Declaration allowed the US to state its leaving of the Paris Agreement but also emphasised the robust support by the 19 other countries for the Paris Agreement and its aims, and the role of clean energy development and deployment, which implicitly includes CCUS.

A supporting and more detailed document is in an annex to the Communique, called “G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth”. This reinforces the need for sustainable and clean energy as a means of achieving climate ambitions, and emphasises energy efficiency, renewable energy up-scaling, access to energy security, and reduction of fossil fuel subsidies.

However it does not say much on CCS or CCUS. With no G20 actions covering CCUS, it merely states that “We encourage countries that opt to use CCUS to continue to undertake R,D&D and to collaborate on large-scale demonstration projects”. Obviously this doesn’t recognise that CCS technologies are ready for deployment and the focus should be on encouraging policies for deployment.

For nuclear power it was a little better, noting their GHG benefits, “In those countries that opt to use nuclear energy, it contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to baseload. We call upon those countries to uphold the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation.”

As a German hosted G20, these texts would have been developed by Germany but agreed with all. It seems that no other countries wanted to emphasise CCUS, and were not informed on IEA or IPCC conclusions. Does the US Presidency stepping away from climate change mean that a main advocate of CCUS is now silent and this was the result?

The documents can be seen at:https://www.g20.org/gipfeldokumente/G20-leaders-declaration.pdf https://www.g20.org/Content/DE/_Anlagen/G7_G20/2017-g20-climate-and-energy-en.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=5

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