Tuesday 27th September 2016                 Change text size:

G7 pledge to cut out fossil fuels by 2100



coal power plant by Emilian Robert Vicol via flickr

Leaders of the G7 group have pledged to fully decarbonise their economies by the end of the century in a bid to tackle climate change. They also agreed to provide climate finance for the people that will be the most affected by the changing climate.

The leaders of the G7 countries, which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan the UK and the US, met in Germany to discuss economical and political issues. Environmental issues, ranging from energy to protecting the marine environment, dominated the agenda.

UN climate talks, set to be held in December in Paris, are also fast approaching. It is hoped that the meeting will result in a universal treaty that will limit global warming to 2C above preindustrial times.

In a release, the leaders of the G7 said, “The G7 feels a special responsibility for shaping our planet’s future. 2015 is a milestone year for international cooperation and sustainable development issues.“

They add, “We want to provide key impetus for ambitious results.”

The release continues that “urgent and concrete” action is needed to address climate change and acknowledges that “deep cuts” in global greenhouse gas emissions are required with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century.

In terms of climate finance, the G7 state that they will continue efforts to provide and mobilise finance, from public and private source. They add that they and others are “well on our way” to meeting the target of $100 billion (£65bn) each year by 2020 for climate mitigation and adaption.

A report published by Oxfam to coincide with the meeting found that five of the G7 countries have increased their use of coal in the last five years despite pledging climate action in 2009. However, the paper also found that all seven countries could feasibly cut out coal by 2040.

While the agreement has been praised for a positive step in the right direction it has received criticism for not going far enough given the danger of failing to limit climate change.

Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy initiative, said, “The course is right, but more speed, ambition and specific actions are needed. Though they left out the details it is clear after this meeting that the days of fossil fuels and carbon pollution are numbered.”

Photo:  Emilian Robert Vicol via Flickr

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Further reading:

UK among G7 countries that have increased coal use

G7 leaders to discuss climate change goals

Global warming has not slowed down, say US scientist

Ban Ki-Moon calls on governments to invest in low-carbon industry

Lack of progress on climate change, says former Shell boss


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