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G7 leaders support 2015 climate deal

Date
05 June 2014
G7 leaders support 2015 climate deal

LONDON: Today the world’s most industrialized countries publicly committed to support the global deal that is expected to come out of next year’s climate talks in Paris, at the G7 summit in Brussels.

G7 nations: Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the US, made the statement along with EU presidents in a communique, which according to newswire Reuters was sparked by the US government’s pledge to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

The communique states the countries are committed to the globally-agreed safe temperature rise limit of 2 degrees, and to transitioning to a low carbon economy

In the document, the G7 commit to ‘a step change’ in diversifying energy supplies and improving infrastructure, in light of the Ukraine crisis’ impact on energy security. It states the governments, both separately and together, will “build a more competitive, diversified, resilient and low-carbon energy system.”

In order to create that system, the communique lists the following commitments from the G7:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy to build sustainable energy security.
  • Enhancing energy efficiency in demand and supply.
  • Promoting clean energy technology use as well as related investment in research and innovation.

On climate change, they say “urgent and concrete action is needed”, specifically in response to April’s stark Fifth Assessment climate reports by the IPCC.

To drive this action they purport to back low carbon growth and a deal at Paris 2015. They write: “We therefore remain committed to low-carbon economies with a view to doing our part to limit effectively the increase in global temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. We affirm our strong determination to adopt in 2015 a global agreement [...] that is ambitious, inclusive and reflects changing global circumstances.”

Contained in the statement is also a promise that the countries will announce their own emission reduction commitments by the first quarter of 2015, well ahead of the climate talks in Paris, COP 21.

They also write that they hope others will follow their ambitious lead, highlighting the UN Climate Summit, which takes place during Climate Week NYC, as a key moment for united climate action: “We welcome the Climate Summit of the United Nations Secretary General in September and his invitation to all Parties to prepare for ambitious contributions and to deliver concrete action to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience. We look forward to a successful Summit.”

In a speech at the G7 Summit in Brussels, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, said: “I am particularly pleased that the G7 has formally endorsed many of the key initiatives that the European Union has tabled: from our intention to organise a donors' conference, to our approach on energy security. We will keep driving policies and progress in all these areas. The G7 also confirmed the intention to reach an ambitious and binding climate agreement by 2015 as we have repeatedly called for, and on development, the G7 takes action in areas in which we have led by example, such as food security, health and vaccination.”

The G7 also reaffirm support for the Copenhagen Accord commitments to mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries, as well as welcome the adoption of the Green Climate Fund.

The Summit was dominated by the Ukraine crisis and is the first gathering since 1998 where Russia will not participate.

Read the G7 communique

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By Clare Saxon

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