Energy & Environment

Climate change gets mention in G-20 statement


A statement from the Group of 20 (G-20) meeting of finance ministers in Saudi Arabia mentions climate change, despite reported resistance from the U.S. on including the language. 

“The [Financial Stability Board] is examining the financial stability implications of climate change,” said the communiqué.

It was reported over the weekend that the United States had opposed including language about climate change. 

“Climate is the last sticking point in the communique. There is still no agreement,” a different source familiar with the negotiations had told Reuters.

One G-20 diplomat said the opposition had typically come from China in addition to the United States, but at this meeting it was mainly the U.S., as China was represented at a lower level.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also told The New York Times that he and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a lengthy talk about the language. 

“I think he clearly understands that even if we do not share the exactly the same assessment on climate change, there is a need to address the issue within the G7 and within the G20,”  Le Maire said. “I think that we have a totally different perspective on the risk of climate change — for us, this is clearly one of the major risks. This is a financial risk.”

Mnuchin described the climate change inclusion as “merely” referring to work already being done by the Financial Stability Board, according to the newspaper. 

The communiqué also acknowledges that the “global landscape that is being rapidly transformed by economic, social, environmental, technological and demographic changes.”

The Trump administration has been accused in the past of burying climate change reports and has reportedly removed language calling climate change a “serious challenge” from a vehicle emissions standards proposal.

At certain points, President Trump has expressed skepticism about climate change, including suggesting it was created by China to hurt U.S. manufacturing in a 2012 tweet. 

More recently, the president has said that “nothing’s a hoax” about climate change. 

Tags Climate change Donald Trump G-20 Steven Mnuchin
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