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G20 Leaders Adopt Declaration, Action Plan

G20 RUSSIA9 September 2013: The Group of 20 (G20) held its annual Leaders' Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, to work towards strengthening economic growth and creating jobs. The resulting G20 Leaders' Declaration addresses: enhancing trade, financial regulation and consumer protection; promoting development for all, including through attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda; sustainable energy policy; and combating climate change.

At the meeting, which took place from 5-6 September 2013, and was hosted by current G20 Chair, Russian President Vladimir Putin, leaders also adopted the St. Petersburg Action Plan on structural reforms to strengthen growth, including boosting investment, productivity and competitiveness, increasing labor force participation, and improving financial stability and credit access.

On combating climate change, the Declaration notes that the cost of its impact on the world economy will grow with additional delay in action, commits to full implementation of recent UNFCCC COP outcomes, and supports efforts toward adoption of "a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force" applicable to all Parties by 2015.

On sustainable energy policy, the signatories express a common interest in cleaner, more efficient and reliable energy supplies, and commit to taking steps to develop such technologies. They welcome efforts to promote sustainable development, energy efficiency, inclusive green growth and clean energy technologies and energy security, for long-term prosperity and well-being in their countries. They also, on phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, support a voluntary peer review process and request reports from Finance Ministers by the next G20 Summit.

On development for all, the Declaration highlighted recent work on inclusive green growth and supported a "non-prescriptive, voluntary toolkit of policy options for inclusive green growth in the context of sustainabele development," including initiation of the G20 Dialogue Platform on Inclusive Green Investments for sustainable development and poverty eradication. This section also asks the G20's Development Working Group to deliver specific outcomes, by the 2014 G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, Australia, on its "core priorities" of food security, financial inclusion and remittances, infrastructure, human resource development and domestic resource mobilization.

On the MDGs, the signatories "remain committed to accelerating progress towards achieving the MDGs, particularly through the implementation of our development agenda and our focus on promoting strong, sustainable, inclusive and resilient growth." They also support the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, which they note will be determined through an intergovernmental process, but welcome the report of the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP), the ongoing work of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing. Finally, they call for an "integrated post-2015 development agenda with concise, implementable and measurable goals taking into account different national realities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities, focused both on the eradication of extreme poverty, promoting development and on balancing the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development."

Leaders also reached agreements on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and expressed support for initiatives that complement efforts under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including using the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFC production and consumption, while keeping HFCs within the scope of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol for accounting and reporting of emissions. Another agreement, between the US and China, establishes a contact group under the Montreal Protocol to consider issues related to cost-effectiveness, financial and technology support, safety, environmental benefits, and an amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed leaders on long-term global challenges, including achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), strengthening global economic recovery and achieving a sustainable future. He said he was “encouraged” by the response on the part of G20 leaders for concentrated actions to achieve the MDGs, define a post-2015 development agenda and address climate change.

The G20 members are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US, as well as the EU. [G20 Website] [G20 Leaders' Declaration and Saint Petersburg Action Plan] [UN Press Release] [EU Press Release] [US Press Release]