Greenhouse gas emissions “have already peaked in all G7 countries,” now, other major economies should do their bit, the communique of G7, released today, says.
“We recognize the critical role of all major economies in limiting increases in global temperature over this critical decade and subsequent decades,” it says.
In a tone that embeds a ‘your-turn-now’ message, it notes: “In this context, we underscore that every major economy should have significantly enhanced the ambition of its NDC since the Paris Agreement; already peaked its GHG emissions or indicated that it will do so no later than 2025.”
Calling upon major economies to come up with improved Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Long-term strategy (LTS)--which are voluntary commitments for climate action—the communique says, “these should reflect significantly enhanced ambition aligned with 1.5 degree C pathway and should also include their revisited and strengthened 2030 targets.”
Noting that “our planet is facing unprecedented challenges from the triple global crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution” the G-7 countries say that they are “steadfast” in their commitment to the Paris agreement.
“we call on all Parties - especially major economies - whose 2030 NDC targets or long-term low GHG emission development Strategies (LTSs) are not yet aligned with a 1.5°C pathway and net zero by 2050 at the latest, to revisit and strengthen the 2030 NDC targets and publish or update their LTSs as soon as possible and well before UNFCCC-COP28, and to commit to net zero by 2050 at the latest,” the communique says. Furthermore, it wants all countries to peak global GHG emissions “immediately and by no later than 2025.”
The developed countries had committed to jointly mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020. $100 billion is too small compared with the trillions of dollars needed for slowing climate change, but even the $100 billion mobilization has yet to happen. On that, the communique says, “We reaffirm our commitments to the developed country Parties’ goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion annually in climate finance by 2020 through to 2025. We will work together with other developed country Parties in order to fully meet the goal in 2023.”
The communique, however, exonerates developed countries’ public investment in natural gas—a fossil fuel—as necessitated by the “exceptional circumstances” created by the Russia-Ukraine war.
“It is necessary to accelerate the phase out of our dependency on Russian energy, including through energy savings and gas demand reduction, in a manner consistent with our Paris commitments, and address the global impact of Russia’s war on energy supplies, gas prices and inflation, and people’s lives, recognizing the primary need to accelerate the clean energy transition,” the communique says.
It stresses “the important role” that increased deliveries of LNG can play. The G-7 countries “acknowledge that investment in the sector can be appropriate in response to the current crisis.”
Not everybody is impressed with the G-7 countries’ stance. Tracy Carty, Global Climate policy expert at Greenpeace International, noted that “what the leaders have brought to the table represents an endorsement of new fossil gas.”
Calling the G-7 condonation of expansion of LNG a “blunt denialof climate emergency”, Carty points out that “fossil gas is one of the most polluting forms of energy and, in its liquefied form, its carbon emissions can be as bad as coal.”
Alden Meyer, Senior Associate, E3G, a climate change think tank, said: “G7 leaders acknowledge we are facing a climate crisis and call on other countries to do more to fight it, but they weaken this message by not walking the talk at home. In particular, Japan’s resistance to phasing out coal power and Germany’s insistence on more public investment in gas undercut the G-7 leadership at a time when it is desperately needed.”