top of page

The New Delhi Declaration: G20's commitment to combat climate change

A look at how climate change takes center stage in the G20 Summit held in New Delhi.

In 2023, India assumed the prestigious role of the Group of 20 (G20) Presidency, marking a historic milestone for the nation. India's tenure as the G20 President has been significant, as it has become a prominent advocate for the Global South. This advocacy led to the inclusion of the African Union within the G20, underscoring India's commitment to represent the diverse interests and perspectives of developing nations. As the world's fifth-largest economy, India has emerged as a leader in the digital economy, showcasing its power in technological innovation and economic growth. Furthermore, India's remarkable achievement of landing a spacecraft on the Moon's South Pole has captured international attention. With this, during its G20 Presidency, India has also taken a proactive role in addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time - climate change.

The G20 Summit is an annual meeting where the leaders of the group meet to discuss and address pressing global issues. It concludes with the adoption of a Leaders’ Declaration which outlines the collective commitments and priorities agreed upon by the member countries and organisations of the group. This declaration reflects the conclusions of discussions held during Ministerial and Working Group Meetings on important international issues during the presidency.

Climate action was in the spotlight at the New Delhi G20 Summit 2023.

At the G20 Summit in New Delhi which took place on 9th-10th September 2023, the need for

immediate action to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change was evident. The G20 Leaders Summit adopted the ‘New Delhi Declaration’, and all the member nations reached a consensus to adopt the declaration. This declaration addressed one of the most pressing environmental challenges and crises, focusing on strategies for mitigation and fostering cooperation in the global battle against climate change.

The G20 member countries reaffirmed their commitment to accelerate the transition to clean, sustainable, equitable, cost-effective, and inclusive energy transitions using a number of measures. This commitment is seen as a key strategy for advancing strong, sustainable, diverse, and equitable economic growth while addressing climate-related goals.

The G20 countries have recognised the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which will require a rapid, significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent by 2030, compared to the 2019 levels. This commitment signifies a significant step towards achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change. The agreement's primary aim is to restrict global warming to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, with an ambitious target of 1.5 °C. To achieve this target, one of the key goals is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). To accomplish the goals, it will require effective measures and commitment by all the member countries.

The member countries called upon all the countries to review, enhance and strengthen their 2030 targets in their Nationally Determined Contributions ( NDCs). NDCs are an important part of the Paris Agreement. They are commitments made by individual countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. Each country develops its own NDC in accordance with its own capabilities, and priorities. These contributions lay out the country's goals and activities for mitigating climate change and enhancing resilience.

The G20 nations have also pledged to achieve global net zero GHG emissions or carbon neutrality by mid-century, by taking into account the recent scientific knowledge as well as the distinctive factors and conditions of each nation.

The group has affirmed its commitment to examining the economic impacts of climate change, including any potential economic challenges and disruptions brought on by events and developments related to climate change, such as extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and diminished resources. The nations are committed to performing this work cooperatively, with input and insights from various stakeholders.

During the G2O Leaders’ Summit, a number of policies and documents were adopted which is a result of the extensive discussions and dialogue of the various working groups during India’s G20 presidency. One such example is the launch of the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Industry Coalition (RECEIC). It is an industry-led initiative with the goal of advancing circular economy and resource efficiency principles. This initiative will focus on several key areas like fostering collaboration across different sectors and value chains, promoting collaborative innovations and technology development and much more.

By 2030, the countries have pledged to drastically reduce waste generation, promoting eco-friendly waste management techniques, and highlighting the importance of zero waste initiatives.

In order to support developing countries' attempts to make the transition to a more sustainable form of energy, the G20 countries are committed to facilitating access to inexpensive finance, covering cutting-edge clean and sustainable energy technology. A report on “Low-cost Financing for the Energy Transitions” prepared under the Indian Presidency, estimated that the world needs an annual investment of over USD 4 trillion by 2030 to help reach net-zero carbon emission goal by 2050.

The countries have emphasized the urgent need to increase investments and climate funding on a global scale. The establishment of a climate fund for the nations grappling with the repercussions of climate change. will be discussed at the upcoming Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

By 2030, the G20 countries have firmly committed to restoring at least 30 percent of all damaged ecosystems. Furthermore, they have promised to step up their efforts to achieve land degradation neutrality.

The member nations will work towards the conservation, protection, restoration, and sustainable utilization of the world's oceans and marine ecosystems. To facilitate this, the "High-Level Principles on Sustainable and Resilient Blue/Ocean-based Economy" was adopted as a framework. An extensive set of guidelines has been adopted within this framework. A number of principles were adopted to help conserve ocean biodiversity and to address the consequences of climate change on ocean-based economies in the G20. These principles serve as a guiding light, encouraging the shift to a sustainable and blue economy.

The New Delhi Leaders Declaration has also highlighted the disproportionate effects of climate change on women and girls. It calls for accelerating climate action and putting gender equality at the center of this effort.

The summit not only acknowledged the effect of climate change on our planet but also led the way to emphasize the role that every country has in addressing this global crisis. India’s role in placing the climate change agenda has indeed been remarkable. It is now the collective actions of the countries which will show us the true impact of the decisions made for a sustainable and resilient future.

bottom of page