G7 plot path to greener Earth
The Group of Seven world leaders’ conference in Germany has finished with a pledge to ‘decarbonise’ the global economy.
The summit saw some of the world's richest nations back a plan to stamp out fossil-fuel emissions by the end of the century, in what many consider an unprecedented show of unity on climate change.
‘Decarbonising’ the world would mean the removal of any polluting gases from burning oil, gas or coal by carbon-capture or other technologies by 2100.
A closing statement from the G7 nations says this would mean emission cuts near 70 per cent of 2010 levels by mid-century.
“Deep cuts in global greenhouse-gas emissions are required with a decarbonisation of the global economy over the course of this century,” the group stated.
“This long-term decarbonisation goal will make evident to corporations and financial markets that the most lucrative investments will stem from low-carbon technologies,” Jennifer Morgan, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute in Washington, told reporters.
“Today G7 leaders have stepped up to the plate with serious climate commitments.”
The group agreed that less wealthy nations should be brought along by way of climate aid.
The Group of Seven sought ways to distribute a $100 billion a year green development fund that was first proposed in 2009.
Most nations are yet to work out how they would actually meet and enact the new climate funding.
“The course is right, but more speed, ambition and specific actions are needed,” said Samantha Smith, a reporter for the environmental group WWF.
“Developing countries are ready to move fast and far on renewables, but they need finance and technology from rich countries to do it.”
The G7 leaders said that in order to cut out “inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies” they will get the UN's Green Climate fund fully operational by the end of the year.
“Elmau delivered,” Greenpeace climate expert Martin Kaiser said of the summit in Germany.
He said the meeting showed “the vision of a 100 per cent renewable energy future is starting to take shape while spelling out the end of coal”.
He warned that “some G7 leaders have left the door open for high risk technologies, like nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage”.
The G7 has felt pressure to act on climate change since China, the world's biggest polluter, has realised the need to curb its carbon output.
It is hoped that the leaders will maintain their drive on the issue of climate change at an upcoming United Nations meeting in Paris in December, where nearly 200 nations will seek to build a global emissions-reduction deal that is binding, and attainable, for all countries.