23 November 2014

G20, 2014: what can world leaders do about climate change?

Logo of the G20 summit

The 2014 Summit of the G-20 was held in Brisbane, Australia, on November 15-16.

“G-20” stands for “Group of Twenty”.

The members of the group are the world’s twenty most powerful economies (19 countries plus the European Union):
  1. Argentina
  2. Australia
  3. Brazil
  4. Canada
  5. China
  6. France
  7. Germany
  8. India
  9. Indonesia
  10. Italy
  11. Japan
  12. Mexico
  13. Russia
  14. Saudi Arabia
  15. South Africa
  16. South Korea
  17. Turkey
  18. United Kingdom
  19. United States
  20. European Union
This group represents about two-thirds of the world’s population and 85% of the total value of all the products and services that are produced in the world.

The G-20 was formed in 1999 after a financial crisis so that various countries could get together and work on the world’s economic issues.

At the Brisbane Summit, country leaders and representatives of international organizations  discussed how to improve our world’s economies.

Issues included:
  • How can trade be made easier?
  • How can tax fraud be avoided?
  • How can the financial system be made safer?
  • How can employment be increased?

Other important issues were discussed:
  • Russia’s aggressive stance on Ukraine.
  • Climate change.

Click on the links below for more information on the G20 Summit:

Point 19 of the Leaders' Communiqué, Brisbane Summit (15-16 November 2014), reads:

"We support strong and effective action to address climate change. Consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its agreed outcomes, our actions will support sustainable development, economic growth, and certainty for business and investment. We will work together to adopt successfully a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC that is applicable to all parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in 2015. We encourage parties that are ready to communicate their intended nationally determined contributions well in advance of COP21 (by the first quarter of 2015 for those parties ready to do so). We reaffirm our support for mobilising finance for adaptation and mitigation, such as the Green Climate Fund."


Questions (to find answers, use the texts and links above AND sources you find yourself):
  1. Where and when was the latest G20 Summit held?
  2. What is the G20?
  3. What were the important issues discussed at the Summit according to THE DAY?
  4. What does "sustainable development" mean?
  5. What is the UNFCCC?
  6. What is the COP21?
  7. What is the Green Climate Fund?

To do:
  1. Describe and comment the photo above.
  2. What are the causes of climate change?
  3. Situate the Isle de Jean Charles on a map (print out the map for your ring binder).
  4. Watch the video (cf. above link).
  5. Click on "Think" and answer the questions.
  6. Click on "Dig deeper" and read the text.

  1. If you were a resident of the Isle, would you stay or would you leave? 
  2. What can be done about the situation on the Isle de Jean Charles?
  3. According to you, who can solve the problems linked to climate change: grassroots action groups or the world leaders (prepare a 60-second speech in answer to this question)?

Still shot from the film "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

To do:
  1. Watch the film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (you can borrow the DVD from your local library!).
  2. Write a short critique of the film for the blog THE BIGGER PICTURE.
  3. Design a POSTER to encourage your schoolmates to contribute to energy efficiency in school (for information, use sources such as the EPA website).

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