August 2, 2021

G7 fails to take ambitious action on climate emergency

“The climate and ecological crisis is worsening rapidly. So we have to celebrate with a barbecue of steaks and lobsters while planes do acrobatics in the sky. ” This ironic comment, tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on Sunday, June 13, illustrates the disappointment of climate experts at the end of a G7 that failed to take measures commensurate with the climate emergency.

Gathered in Carbis Bay, in Cornwall (United Kingdom), the heads of state and government of seven great powers (Germany, Canada, United States, France, Italy, Japan and United Kingdom) have nevertheless recognized the need for ” act in the face of “Existential threat” driven by “Unprecedented and interdependent crises” climate change and the erosion of biodiversity. “The year 2021 should be a turning point for our planet (…), we are committed to a green revolution ”, they wrote in their joint statement published at the end of the three-day summit.

For the first time, these nations, responsible for more than a quarter of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, have made a collective commitment to achieve carbon neutrality. ” later ” in 2050 and to halve their carbon emissions compared to 2010 by 2030. For the first time also, the G7 endorsed the objective of not exceeding a global warming of 1.5 ° C compared to l preindustrial era – the most ambitious limit set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

“Pressure on China”

This proactive speech, which reiterates commitments made individually in recent months, had been made impossible for the past four years under the American presidency of climate skeptic Donald Trump. “If we have found a common pro-climate front, the G7 has not succeeded in transforming these major climate objectives into concrete and rapid actions”, deplores Lucile Dufour, head of energy policies at the think tank International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

The only concrete progress concerns coal, the main source of CO emissions2. The G7 has pledged to stop funding, by the end of the year, new coal-fired power plants abroad that do not use CO capture and storage technologies.2. It will also provide $ 2 billion, by next year, to help developing countries phase out this energy. These discussions have so far been blocked by Japan, where 32% of the electricity mix comes from coal. While South Korea made a similar commitment at the climate summit organized by the United States in April, “This puts pressure on China, which remains the last big country to finance coal abroad”, specifies Armelle Le Comte, responsible for climate issues for Oxfam France.

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