Heading towards Carbon Neutrality

Dr. Camilla Bausch speaks to long-term climate strategies at the T20 Spring Roundtable

Panel discussion

What are the key ingredients of a "Sustainable Recovery for a Green Future?" This was the topic of two events organized by Think20 (T20) during the Italian G20 presidency. Dr. Camilla Bausch, co-chair of the T20 Task Force on environmental issues, spoke on carbon neutrality, long-term climate strategies and the European Green Deal.

Marking both Earth Day and the start of Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate, the first event – which was organized in cooperation i.a. with Ecologic Institute – brought together a distinguished group from Southeast Asia and Europe. They discussed how to make recovery efforts consistent with a green future.

Dr. Bausch spoke specifically to long-term strategies. She underlined the importance of committing to climate neutrality, taking into account the objectives of the Paris Agreement to hold "the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C" and pursue "efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C." Referring to the reports of the IPCC, she highlighted the need to reduce global emissions by 45% from 2010 level by 2030 and to reach net zero around 2050 for a 1.5 °C scenario, or – for a 2 °C  scenario - by 25% from 2010 level by 2030 and to reach net zero around 2070. 

Dr. Bausch welcomed pledges to climate or carbon neutrality by leaders around the world, which consequently will have to lead to ambitious changes on the ground. For a successful long-term strategy, a solid process and proper base scenarios are needed. Ambitious targets will have to cover all sectors of the economy and policy measures will have to be supported by a credible, actionable process for implementation, including interim targets and milestones, adequate governance structures, as well as monitoring and revision mechanisms. 

The EU under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen started rather ambitiously in the field of climate action. Ursula von der Leyen wants to make the green transformation of the economy to serve as a driver for innovation and sustainable growth. In line with this, the EU has submitted its long-term strategy to the international community. It strives for carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve that, the European Green Deal will be instrumental. It made climate change a leading theme for all policy initiatives of the European Commission. The European Climate Law will provide an important frame for this, enshrining the carbon neutrality goal into law as well as the new 55% emission reduction goal by 2030.

However, the pathway to achieve these goals within the EU, with its 27 Member States and its delicate distribution of powers, will not be without challenges. This became painfully apparent in the context of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. 

Dr. Bausch shared the panel with Jun Arima, Senior Policy Fellow, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) (Indonesia), Ma Jun, President of Institute of Green Finance and Sustainable Development (China), Luiz de Mello, Director, Economic Department, OECD (UK), Yu Hongyuan, Director of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) (China) and Wang Wen, Executive Dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies (China). The session was moderated by Antonio Villafranca, ISPI Coordinator, T20 Italy.

The group discussed aspects of a just transition within the context of their individual countries and the need for adaptation measures. Opportunities provided by the financial recovery packages were highlighted, including shifting resources to sustainable sectors, and decarbonizing investments. The necessity of international cooperation and transparency to achieve these goals was underlined.

The Spring Roundtable "Sustainable Recovery for a Green Future" was co-organized by the T20 National Coordinator and Chair Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY), in cooperation with CSIS, Ecologic Institute, ERIA, KIEP, the OECD and SIIS. The public event was preceded by a closed-door workshop. 

Dr. Bausch’s contribution to these events was made possible through the support of the Stiftung Mercator.

Successful long-term strategies need proper base scenarios, adequate governance, ambitious targets that cover all sectors and a credible, actionable process for implementation, including monitoring and revision mechanisms.
Panel discussion
transition, sustainability, decarbonizing investments, green future

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