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G20 Environment Minister’s Summit - What can we hope for?

G20 Environment Ministers’ Meeting 2021Today marks 100 days until The UK hosts the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. Ahead of the occasion, the G20 Environment Ministers will today be meeting as part of a G20 Leaders Summit in Napoli, Italy.

To determine the ways in which the summit can be considered a success, we have spoken to Professor Joao Porto De Albuquerque, Director at the University of Warwick’s Institute of Global Sustainable Development.

Ahead of the meeting, Professor Porto de Albuquerque hopes to see adaption and resilience at the forefront of the Minister’s priorities: “Our planet has been regularly burdened with mass disasters, from the Australian bushfires in 2020, flash flooding in Afghanistan, to deadly hurricanes in central America. Now more than ever, there is a need to adapt to, and push back on, the changing dynamics of our environment.”

No longer are natural disasters constrained to developing countries, or certain hemispheres. The Professor Porto de Albuquerque states the problem is a ‘global’ one, affecting each continent across the northern and southern hemispheres.

Today’s world is truly interdependent, yet collaboration across the globe is ‘timid’. Today’s G20 Summit on Climate should therefore look to promote partnerships, now more than ever. “Clearly it will take more than 20 countries to solve this problem, but these nations are some of the biggest polluters both within their own borders as well as their demand for products and resources across the globe. They must also look at global supply chains and work with developing nations to ensure they are sustainable.”

Finally, the Professor Porto de Albuquerque hopes to see monitoring and implementation of data emerge as a priority for the G20 countries and their partners. To achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the utilisation of data is of paramount importance between now and 2030, when the SDGs are expected to have been achieved. The SDGs are ambitious and need efficient data monitoring and implementation to focus on delivering the goals, and to inform effective global policy-making.

The G20 Environment Ministers will today agree on joint policy going forward, to tackle climate change and deliver sustainability. If they focus on adaption and resilience; building partnerships; and monitoring and implementing data, the summit will be a strong foundation ahead of COP26.

23 July 2021