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G20 Finance Ministers and Chancellors Discuss Green Growth

G-2026 February 2012: Two meetings of the Group of Twenty (G-20) were held during the month of February and addressed climate change and green growth. One gathered finance ministers and central bank governors, and the second brought together secretaries of state and chancellors.

The meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors took place in Mexico City, Mexico, on 25-26 February 2012, and concluded with the adoption of a communiqué, which references green growth. In the communiqué, G-20 ministers recognize the importance of green growth and ask the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the UN, to prepare a report that provides options for G-20 countries on "inserting green growth and sustainable development policies into structural reform agendas, tailored to specific country conditions and level of development." Ministers further agree that each country will contribute to the report by voluntarily informing on actions to integrate green growth and sustainable development into structural reform agendas. They also vow to continue working on climate finance and report to the G-20 Summit to take place on 18-19 June 2012, in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Ministers of Foreign Relations met in Los Cabos, Mexico, on 19-20 February 2012, in an informal gathering to discuss the agenda for the Mexican G-20 presidency. No formal communiqué was issued, but the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, placed climate change as one of the key aspects its presidency wants to pursue within the G-20 agenda. In this respect, he told ministers of foreign relations that true development requires a green growth strategy, stressing the challenge posed by climate change to humanity. He made reference to Mexico suffering its hardest drought in recorded history, noting that the costs of climate change impacts will grow in the future, and thus that the costs of mitigation and adaptation should be paid for today.

Noting acrimonious debate on these concepts among countries, he urged world leaders not to let the current economic situation prevent them from addressing the serious problems and challenges of climate change. He noted that a less conflictive way to look at the problem is to focus on the opportunities for growth presented by renewable energies, noting current high energy prices open policy space for economic incentives to renewables, as well as a financial environment where investors are looking for alternatives given the low interest rates in developed countries, a factor that presents an opportunity for green economy projects. He concluded by stating that the challenge is to create mechanisms for channeling large amounts of money towards green growth and renewable energy projects, as well as to continue to build on the results of the last two session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Cancun, Mexico, and Durban, South Africa. [Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors Communiqué] [Foreign Ministers' Informal Meeting Webpage] [Mexican President's Speech]