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20 August 2022

Sustainable production and global ESG criteria on top of G20 Youth Communiqué

From 17 to 24 July 2022, Indonesia hosted the G20 Youth Summit that took place in the cities of Jakarta and Bandung. More than 80 youth delegates from the G20 and observing countries gathered together to spearhead negotiations on sustainable production and climate change, digital development, employment, and inclusion. Climate and energy issues were particularly high on the Summit’s agenda placing most pressing planetary challenges under the spotlight.

Mr Vadim Kuznetsov, BRICS YEA’s Director for Sustainability and Climate Initiatives, took part in the G20 Youth Summit as a delegate to Sustainable and Livable Planet Working Group. After six months of preparatory work featuring multistakeholder consultations, closed negotiation sessions, and text drafting delegates met in person to finalize the communiqué through integrating the most effective policy solutions into the document.

The Sustainable and Livable Planet Working Group focused on six key environmental aspects: protecting global commons, transforming food systems, enabling sustainable production and consumption, accelerating the energy transition, strengthening resilience of the built environment, and mobilizing sustainable finance. Multiple policy proposals touch upon two or more sustainability aspects and might be thus classified as cross-cutting, including ESG criteria for the mining sector and public tenders, clean cooking appliances for healthy diets, and multilateral SDG7 Just Energy Transition Partnerships.

There are also certain policy proposals whose implementation goes beyond Indonesia’s G20 presidency and lays a solid foundation for the next year’s Indian presidency: establishing a G20 Expert Group on Strategic Metals and Critical Raw Materials to define common frameworks for ESG standards in mining and elements’ utilization, enhancing integration links between emission trading systems (ETS) across the G20 to implement the Paris Agreement Article 6, and enacting an interoperable green taxonomy based on technological neutrality and environmental performance.

The communiqué is a comprehensive document providing guidance for policymakers and setting the bar for meaningful youth action worldwide. Developed with specific attention to the challenges facing the Global South, the paper suggests pathways to achieving a more sustainable and inclusive growth in diverse economic and cultural environments, including the BRICS countries whose delegates actively participated in the G20 Youth Summit.

In 2023, India is going to take over the G20 presidency, which has a large potential to boost BRICS youth cooperation on sustainability, climate, and energy issues, especially given the role the five countries play in implementing the green transformation efforts.

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