Sustainability - Climate Sustainability and Energy

The G20 recognises the importance of collective action in tackling environmental challenges and climate change while promoting transitions towards more flexible, transparent and cleaner energy systems. The OECD supports the G20 Presidency’s work, building on its extensive expertise in green growth, clean and climate-resilient infrastructure, fossil fuel subsidies, energy regulation, green finance and investment, environmental taxation and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

Climate and Growth

In 2017, the OECD supported the German Presidency’s major climate initiative by developing a new pro-climate and pro-growth narrative in its report Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth, which was commissioned by the Presidency and presented to G20 Leaders at the G20 Hamburg Summit. This OECD report provides evidence-based analysis on how fiscal and structural reforms combined with coherent climate policy could generate sustainable growth that significantly reduces climate risks, whilst providing employment and health benefits.

The Argentina G20 Presidency in 2018 has been focusing on a number of issues related to adaptation to climate change and extreme weather events. The OECD has been contributing its analysis on climate-resilient infrastructure to the discussions of the Climate Sustainability Working Group. 

During the Saudi G20 Presidency in 2020 the OECD produced a paper on enabling policies for the transition to net-zero, as well as analysis on Strengthening Adaptation-Mitigation Linkages for a Low-Carbon, Climate-resilient Future.

In 2021, the OECD is underpinning the strong impetus that Italy’s G20 Presidency is giving to green recovery and climate sustainability, which is mainstreamed in all tracks, leveraging Italy’s role in the CoP 26, in partnership with the UK.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies

In 2009, G20 Leaders in Pittsburgh committed to “rationalise and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption”. Since then, the OECD has been documenting the size and scope of fossil fuel subsidies (FFS). Under the Russian Presidency in 2013, the OECD contributed to developing a flexible, country-led methodology for undertaking voluntary peer reviews of countries’ FFS. The OECD supports countries’ efforts to undertake such peer-reviews, supporting the fossil fuels subsidies’ reviews of China and the United States, chairing the review of Germany and Mexico under the German Presidency in 2017, and the peer reviews of Italy and Indonesia in 2018. Additional work in this workstream is foreseen under Italy’s G20 Presidency.

Green Finance

In 2016, a new Green Finance Study Group (GFSG) was established under the G20 Finance Track to identify institutional and market barriers to green finance. The OECD, drawing on its expertise in green bonds and greening institutional investors, actively contributed to the five sub-group work streams of the GFSG. This included providing substantive inputs to the G20 Green Finance Synthesis Reportthat presented options to enhance the ability of the financial system to mobilise private capital for green investment. Italy has decided to re-establish this workstream, by launching in 2021 the Sustainable Finance Study Group, which will be supported by OECD work.