Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

G20 New Delhi Declaration: Green Development Pact the Bridge Between the Global South and the North, Says Arunabha Ghosh

The G20 adopted the New Delhi Leaders Summit Declaration after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that consensus had been reached among member states.

Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), said:

It is a historic moment that India's G20 Presidency has been able to get the New Delhi Leaders' Declaration finalised on Day One of the Leaders' Summit. A critical component of that is the Green Development Pact for a sustainable future, and I want to congratulate India's Presidency and the G20 for coming together for this.

Why is this Green Development Pact important? This year, we have seen climate-related disasters shaking up many parts of the world, from North America to Europe and Asia. The year 2023 is also right at the midway point of the action agenda to 2030 for attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have to ensure that coming out of the Covid pandemic, our pathway for development is very much embedded in a green and collaborative pathway. Which is why the Pact is important.

A few key themes are critical for this. One, is the focus on resource efficiency and the importance of sustainable consumption. This is highlighted through the mainstreaming of lifestyles for sustainable development, including the High-level Principles on Lifestyles for Sustainable Development. A second key component of the Green Development Pact is the focus on a clean, sustainable, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transition. It tries to bring the energy transition closer to people and the very economies and geographies where large infrastructure will be built for development. This needs to be driven by clean energy infrastructure. Which is why the announcement of the Global Biofuel Alliance is important, why the ecosystem for green hydrogen and the creation of a green hydrogen innovation centre becomes critical, and why the tripling of renewable energy capacity across the world by 2030 is key.

The third important focus is climate and sustainable finance. India's G20 Presidency has continuously highlighted that we need trillions for the billions living in the Global South. This highlighting of the trillions of dollars needed—both for the clean energy investment and the overall focus on SDGs—embeds the clean energy and climate action components into the broader SDG agenda. For me, the fourth important component is the principles on an ocean-based Blue Economy. This is to not only acknowledge the role our oceans play in regulating the climate system but also understand how the sustainable use of our ocean-based resources has to be done well in advance of us damaging this critical resource and then trying to clean it up.

The fifth and final crucial component is building disaster-resilient infrastructure. India, of course, has promoted the coalition of disaster-resilient infrastructure in the past. But now we have a new Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group that India has introduced in the G20. Bringing all these different pillars together, then, is the Green Development Pact that focuses on the needs of the Global South for development, on the needs of the planet in order for us to be green and sustainable, but also be the bridge between the South and the North that is necessary to forge a pact.