Development and justice through transformation: The Four Big ‘I’s
G20 countries are responsible for 82% of CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels, so the G20, with its formative influence on the world’s economy and politics, must play a leading role in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.
More about this topic
2015 saw a historic double success for sustainability and climate policy. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Paris Agreement on climate protection establish a system of ambitious policy goals for the world. The group of twenty major industrialized and emerging economies (G20) now needs to resolutely advance implementation of both agreements, seizing the opportunity of this ‘Great Transformation’ to sustainability as a unique modernization project that offers substantial economic development opportunities. Complete decarbonization of the world economy by 2070 at the latest can only be achieved by profoundly transforming energy systems and other high-emissions infrastructures. This transformation could inspire Innovation and channel Investment into sustainability and climate protection, e.g. into sustainable Infrastructures that need to be established and expanded. At the same time, the transformation could combat inequality and promote Inclusion within societies and globally, thus becoming an equity project. The G20, as a central global actor, should specifically promote the Four Big ‘I’s of sustainability and climate policy to ensure that conflicts over resources and their distribution are defused and international crises avoided. Sustainable development, and in particular global climate protection, is currently the only ambitious undertaking that involves all the world’s nations and resulted in a global consensus. Achievements in this enormous, complex policy field enable countries to establish mutual trust, making the ‘Great Transformation’ to sustainability also a peace project.
More on the Subject
Climate policy can only be successful if it is designed in a just way. This means that the urgency of climate action must be taken seriously and that the interests of all the people affected – both people harmed by climate change and those affected by the structural change necessary for climate-change mitigation – must be given equal weight.
The year 2015 has special importance for the transformation towards sustainable development. New Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are then supposed to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The aim is to offer a new orientation for political action in the coming decades.
Often reviled as the club of the great economic powers, the G20 can advance the world on the road to climate stabilization and dynamic economic growth by taking decisions in four areas – and thus help drive back authoritarian movements. Today, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen – WBGU) is presenting a report entitled ‘Development and justice through transformation: The Four Big ‘I’s’ to Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka. Germany took over the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2016; its summit will be held in Hamburg in June 2017. The G20 countries produce 80% of the gross world product and 82% of greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil energy sources – so the weal and woe of the planet depends on them.
Meeting of the G20 Foreign Ministers on 16–17 February 2017 in Bonn
At the meeting of the foreign ministers of the G20, the twenty most important industrialized countries and emerging economies, the WBGU’s Chair, Prof. Dirk Messner, will present the WBGU Report entitled ‚Development and Equity through Transformation: The Four Big I’s’ (Investment, Innovation, Infrastructure and Inclusion). The report formulates a vision for contributions by the G20 to modernizing the world economy and global politics. The report examines the potential of the Great Transformation towards sustainability as a unique project for humankind, which offers considerable economic and social development opportunities.
- Download: Deutsch (PDF 0,9 MB)
- Download: Full Version (PDF 0,7 MB)
Commissioned Expert's Studies
External expert studies are comissoned by WBGU, the responsibility for the content rests with the author.
- Download: Dr. Galina Churkina: „Can use of wood in future infrastructure development reduce emissions of CO2?“ (PDF 1.4 MB)
- Download: Prof. Dr. Michael Sterner und M. Eng. Franz Bauer: „Weltweit Null- Emissionen bis 2050. Szenarien zur globalen Dekarbonisierung auf Basis erneuerbarer Energien, Sektorenkopplung und Energiespeicher ohne negative Emissionen, Biomasse und CCS" (PDF 8.4 MB)