Business / Hangzhou G20

Hangzhou may be impetus for sustainable development

By Wang Yafei (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-06 07:37

Leadership shown by G20 members on tackling climate-change challenges will promote sustainable development and speed up ratification of the Paris Agreement, experts said.

"G20 members should take the lead to help bring the Paris Agreement on Climate Change into force as soon as possible," said President Xi Jinping at a media conference on Monday, after the two-day G20 Summit.

Xi's comments came after G20 members reached consensus on a number of key issues facing the world. Tackling climate change has been a hot-button issue for both developed and developing economies.

Domestic steps taken by major G20 economies, including China and the United States, have set a good example for others to follow, said Bai Yunwen, a climate and policy researcher at Greenovation Hub, a Beijing-based nongovernmental organization.

Before the summit, the Paris Agreement was reaffirmed by Xi and US President Barack Obama, bringing the number of parties that have sworn by it to 26 that produce 39 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

"I fall the G20 members agree to follow the steps taken by the two economies (China and the US), the agreement would come into force by year-end for sure," said Bai.

Fifty-five parties, accounting for 55 percent of global carbon emissions, need to ratify the agreement for it to take effect. G20 members account for around 80 percent of the emissions, according to data from Climate Transparency.

In the meantime, greater participation and commitment of G20 members would mobilize investments into green industries and promote the development of climate finance, said Ma Jun, chief economist of the research bureau of the People's Bank of China.

To suggest ways to build infrastructure needed to promote green financing, which is part of the efforts being made to tackle climate-change challenges, a leading group on green finance has submitted a report. The report clarifies the definition and scope of green financing, identifies challenges and provides voluntary options for countries to support the transition into a green and low-carbon growth model, Ma said.

Xu Nan, a policy analyst at the Climate and Energy Finance Research Center at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said any efforts by G20 members to bring about sooner ratification of the Paris Agreement, would send a positive signal to investors.

That, in turn, would help attract more investment into green industries, thus contributing to the development of climate finance, Xu said.

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