Business leaders urge G20 to put climate change back on agenda

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By Gernot Heller and Michael Nienaber | BERLIN

BERLIN Business executives and scientists on
Tuesday urged the world’s leading economies to put global
warming back on the G20 agenda after finance ministers and
central bankers failed to reaffirm their readiness to finance
measures against climate change.

The G20’s outreach organisations for business (B20), think
tanks (T20) and civil society groups (C20) urged the Group of 20
leading economies in a joint statement to take fast and
fundamental action to counter rising temperatures.

“Climate change represents one of the largest risks to
sustainable development, inclusiveness, equitable economic
growth and financial stability,” the statement said.

“We need to be sure that (G20 leaders) will fulfill existing
international climate-related commitments, foremost the Paris
Agreement,” it said.

The statement was signed by B20 chair Kurt Bock, who is also
CEO of chemicals group BASF, and several leading
scientists, including Ottmar Edenhofer from the Mercator
Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change.

It came after G20 financial leaders – under pressure from
the United States – dropped from their communique a reference
about willingness to finance measures to combat climate change
as agreed in Paris in 2015.

The business leaders and scientists welcomed Germany’s
continued leadership on the issue as rotating president of the
G20.

U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested global warming is
a “hoax” concocted by China to hurt U.S. industry and vowed
during his election campaign to scrap the Paris climate accord
aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Trump’s administration has proposed a 31 percent cut to the
Environmental Protection Agency’s budget.



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