On 7-8 July, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with other Group of Twenty (G20) leaders for a summit in Hamburg, Germany. This was the first such global meeting following the announcement by the US Administration of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The summit comes at a time when the impacts of climate change are bringing suffering and damage throughout Europe and the world. The dramatic heatwaves last month that caused deadly forest fires in Portugal and Spain were made 10 times more likely by climate change. France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland were also hit by extreme temperatures, triggering emergency responses to save lives and deal with impacts on transport and power infrastructure. Such extreme weather events could become the norm in the absence of ambitious climate action.
In a joint leaders' communiqué adopted at the meeting, all G20 members including the US agree on the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, notably through clean and efficient energy systems.
The leaders' communiqué takes note of the US announcement and sets out the common vision of the other 19 members of the G20. The EU is very encouraged that all other members remain wholly united in their commitment to the Paris Agreement, agreeing that it is "irreversible" and pledging to "move swiftly towards its full implementation".
The communiqué also adopts a landmark G20 'Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth'. The action plan underlines the willingness of major economies to pursue and deliver on the Paris Agreement objectives, particularly on: successful implementation of nationally-determined contributions; formulation of mid-centuries strategies; the establishment of an Energy Efficiency Hub; action on climate and disaster risk finance and insurance; a work programme to share good practices on climate change adaptation; alignment of finance flows with the Paris goals; guidance for multilateral development banks; and enhancing the role of non-state actors.