Peter Fischer, Deputy Director General for Energy & Climate Policy at the German Foreign Office, talks about the upcoming G20 meeting of foreign ministers and emphasises what the group can do to deliver on the SDGs. He argues that on the energy and climate front, the G20 could take a more active role and to work on a ‘G20 Energy and Climate Action Plan’...

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"I think it is worth mentioning that under the G20, to switch from G7 to G20, usually we like to say: “If there are good policy lessons in the G7 that apply to global issues, it is by large worthwhile to transfer them to the G20 because that is a more global format”.

Germany will be taking over the G20 presidency in 2017 and we will be having a G20 Foreign Ministers meeting on 16th and 17th of February. It will explicitly focus on the sustainable development goals and the role of foreign ministries in achieving the sustainable development goals. We will be looking at kind of the institutional setup, global governance, but also what foreign ministries can do to increase policy coherence and we will be covering the SDGs. We will be having a session specifically on climate change and water and in the afternoon try to connect SDGs, climate change, and water, and Africa. So that is G20 Foreign Ministers, and the German G20 presidency has chosen the motto ‘Resilience, Sustainability and Responsibility’.

On the energy and climate front we would like to make sure that the G20 plays an active role in delivering the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.

We want a more coherent approach in the G20 to energy and climate policy. So far there is an energy sustainability working group and a climate sustainability working group under the G20. We want them also to meet together and to deliver to the heads of state and government a ‘G20 Energy and Climate Action Plan’ that has to do with long term decarbonisation plans, helping to deliver the Paris Agreement in connection with other countries, for example the so called NDCs, nationally determined contributions, and a number of other very interesting initiatives."