Reaction to the G20 2023 Leaders’ Declaration

The phasing out of fossil fuels is a key climate goal. Our shared future is being condemned to catastrophic climate change with the G20 failing to agree to a phase-out of fossil fuels.

The G20 Summit has also once again failed to go beyond its ineffectual response to the global debt problem

Lidy Nacpil, APMDD coordinator, said: 

“It is an outrage that the G20 Leaders’ Summit has once again  failed to reach a deal on rapid and just phase-out of fossil fuels in keeping with the Paris goals to which they all committed. The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, touted by India as “probably the most vibrant, dynamic and ambitious document on climate action,” is actually a huge blow to the people and communities of the Global South who are facing the brunt of the climate crisis.  

“The rapid, equitable and just phase-out of fossil fuels is a  fundamental climate goal. The G20 nations are responsible for 80 percent of the world’s emissions, 93% of global operating coal power plants, and a great many new proposed coal power plants. Their commitment to end fossil fuels fast and fairly  – with the end of public subsidies for fossil fuels now as one of the minimum immediate steps  –  is critical in the fight against climate change.

“We vehemently oppose the false climate solutions – such as hydrogen, ammonia and carbon capture technologies –  that the G20 is calling for in their Declaration. Putting our bets on unproven, costly abatement technologies that delay the fossil fuel phaseout and just transition to renewable energy systems will further exacerbate the climate crisis.

“We need bolder actions and real climate solutions urgently. Our shared future is being condemned to catastrophic climate change.”

The G20 Summit has also once again failed to go beyond its ineffectual response to the global debt problem

Global public debt remains elevated with debt-to-GDP ratio remaining above pre-pandemic levels. Debt vulnerabilities across lower-income countries are rising amid recent global shocks, which only foregrounds the flaws and futility of G20/Paris Club measures, namely the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and its successor, the Common Framework. But the G20 ignores these realities by insisting on temporary, inadequate and short term measures. It is clear from the Declaration that the interests of the dominant rich countries in the G20 lie in ensuring continued debt service, and not in genuine, substantial debt reduction that both low and middle-income countries need. 

It is also clear that the G20 has no regard for the dire impacts on Global South peoples as rising debt payments eat into already declining resources for essential social services. Again, by unfailingly pushing band-aid solutions to the debt crisis, the G20 proves itself incapable in its self-appointed role of leading in debt resolution efforts, thus actually strengthening the civil society call for a UN-hosted, transparent and accountable sovereign debt resolution mechanism. The G20 may have donned new clothes under India’s presidency, but remains intransigent towards the growing global call for what the Global South urgently needs – immediate debt cancellation, starting with unsustainable and illegitimate debts.

Lani C. Villanueva
Mobile/WhatsApp +63 9052472970

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