G20 agrees on final communique with reference to climate change

Compromise language hammered out to overcome U.S. objections retained a reference to the Financial Stability Board’s work examining the implications of climate change for financial stability, although it dropped climate change from its list of downside risks to global economic growth.

One of the sources said it was the first time a reference to climate change had been included in a G20 finance communique, even though it was removed from the top of the joint statement.

G20 finance ministers and central bankers are meeting in the Saudi capital to discuss top global economic challenges, including the spread of the new coronavirus.

Concerns about the economic impact of climate change have escalated in recent years and pressure is mounting on business to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon economy ahead of United Nations climate talks in November.

A report issued last week forecast the world’s financial services sector risks losses of up to $1 trillion if it fails to respond quickly to climate change and is hit by policy shifts such as the introduction of a carbon tax.

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